Philanthropic Organization Seeks to Honor Inspirational Immigrants01 Jul 2016
This past weekend, Americans celebrated the 4th of July, our nation’s most patriotic holiday, which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the nation’s thirteen original colonies in 1776. Whether marking the occasion with fireworks or parades, or choosing a day of quiet reflection on our nation’s past, present, and future, Americans were united this weekend in celebrating a fundamental event in our history. And a landmark grant-making foundation honored this distinctly American holiday by releasing its annual list of immigrants who have contributed their hard work, talent, and ingenuity towards strengthening our nation.
The Carnegie Corporation of New York is a nonprofit, philanthropic foundation established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie, an immigrant from Scotland who built a fortune in the steel industry during the 19th century. Carnegie devoted much of his life to a variety of philanthropic enterprises, and designated his Carnegie Corporation to promote world knowledge and understanding. It was not until 2006, however, that the Corporation began its “Great Immigrants: The Pride of America” initiative. Since then, every year on July 4th, the Carnegie Corporation recognizes the achievements of dozens of naturalized citizens in a variety of fields and industries. [See July Fourth Tribute Honors 42 Distinguished Immigrants, by Celeste Ford, Carnegie.org, 30.Jun.2016.]
In a press release, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Vartan Gregorian, praised the honorees as sources of inspiration to future generations who embody the spirit of the American dream. “These accomplished Americans are immigrants like our forefathers, who founded this nation of nations. They are representatives of the millions of immigrants who have come to the United States for economic opportunity, education, political or religious asylum, security, or reunification with families and relatives. They, like all Americans, share a common faith in this country.”
This year, the corporation named 42 honorees from a total of 30 different countries of origin, including four IndianAmericans. [See Sundar Pichair, Bharati Mukherjee Among 4 Indian Americans to be Given Great Immigrants Awards, by AB Wire, American Bazaar, 29.Jun.2016.]
While Americans chose to celebrate the 4th of July holiday in a variety of different ways, we are united in honoring this sacred day as a testament to our unbreakable spirit of freedom, perseverance, and hard work. The Carnegie Corporation of New York serves us well by honoring inspirational immigrants who have made their dreams come true in our nation, while at the same time working to make it even better.
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