We produced a series of video portraits of Immigrant New Yorkers for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in 2020 and 2021.
This #IHW2020, we bring you stories of immigrant New Yorkers to remind us all that our city is strong. Because we welcome everyone. Because we work together. Because we help each other. Thank you, Immigrant New York. We love you. We're so grateful you chose to make here, home. pic.twitter.com/T0T7RXh0Eb— NYC Immigrant Affairs (@NYCImmigrants) April 13, 2020
The New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) is a long-time client of Show the Good. In 2020, they reached out to us with a storytelling opportunity. The goal was to highlight the voices of immigrant New Yorkers making an impact on their communities to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Week in 2020. That was the start of a two-year series, diving into the stories of seven inspiring New Yorkers.
In 2020, the project’s filming dates coincided with the weeks leading up to New York City’s first days of COVID-19 stay at home orders. As a result, we spent the editing process in the nascent days of pandemic isolation. During an uncertain time, these stories brought us life.
The first set of videos and a trailer debuted on Instagram and Twitter in April 2020. They featured Elias Gurmu and Sarina Prabasi of Buunni Coffee, Wu Yi Zhuo a gaohu player who entertains commuters in the West 4th Street Subway Station and Christopher Unpezverde Núñez a disabled LGBTQ performance artist.
As Immigrant Heritage Week approached in 2021, the MOIA team asked us to continue the series. This time the focus shifted to highlighting Immigrant New Yorkers making a special impact on their communities during the pandemic. As a result of this focus, the next set of videos featured bakery owner Carlos Espinoza, NYU Langone site director Claudya Verdiner and NYC Health + Hospitals Community Care Nurse Man-Hong Wan.
This time filming took place during the spring of 2021. At this time masking was mandated in New York City. Our team worked tirelessly to ensure the socially-distant filming dates were safe and successful for everyone involved.
The two-year series premiered across MOIA’s social platforms and on their website. In summer 2020, the series was turned into a short film for NYC Media and a version of the series aired on New York City’s Taxi TV.
In 2022 we won a Bronze Anthem Award – the socially focused offshoot of the Webbys – for this series. Watch the full two-year series below.
Today is the first day of NYC's #ImmigrantHeritageWeek!— NYC Immigrant Affairs (@NYCImmigrants) April 12, 2021
As the only human contact for many of his elderly patients, Man Hong-Wan of @NYCHealthSystem went above and beyond to make sure they had the care and support they needed during #COVID19. #ImmigrantsAreEssential #IHW2021 pic.twitter.com/SCyVQoSCuI
Since the beginning of #COVID19, immigrant New Yorkers like Claudya have stepped up to keep our communities safe & informed.— NYC Immigrant Affairs (@NYCImmigrants) April 13, 2021
This #ImmigrantHeritageWeek, we recognize the immense contributions they’ve made to our communities for generations. #IHW2021 #ImmigrantsAreEssential pic.twitter.com/nHXCsBVgRs
Immigrant-owned shops like @BuunniCoffee are cornerstones of NYC. We spent time with founders Sarina and Elias before the #COVID19 outbreak, who built a community on Ethiopian macchiatos and love! It's vital to support our small businesses at this time. #ImmigrantHeritageMonth pic.twitter.com/53KYADRCWF— NYC Immigrant Affairs (@NYCImmigrants) June 6, 2020
Hailing from Costa Rica, Christopher Unpezverde Núñez, who lived as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. for 4 years, is thriving in NYC. As a queer, partially blind artist, Christopher empowers his peers and our communities alike, just by being himself.#NationalImmigrantsDay pic.twitter.com/edDluddeOh— NYC Immigrant Affairs (@NYCImmigrants) October 28, 2020
In Brooklyn, Wu Yi Zhuo has used his trusty gaohu to serenade subway platforms with Cantonese opera music for years. He pours the money he earns playing solo into his musical group, which performs for fellow seniors, and brings a bit of Guangdong Province to Bensonhurst. #IHW2020 pic.twitter.com/Jc8prnXG56— NYC Immigrant Affairs (@NYCImmigrants) April 17, 2020