What defines the American people as a nation are the ideals posited in our Declaration of Independence of 1776. The story of the American civilization has been one of striving to fulfill the promise of this, our founding document.
A nation so defined, welcomes those who accept its ideals, regardless of their ethnic background. This ability and willingness to assimilate into its ideological heritage people of diverse cultures and ethnicity is also a defining characteristic of the American nation. We are both, a nation of the Declaration of Independence, and an Immigrant Nation.
The core principle of the Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame is that, as a nation of immigrants, the heritage of all immigrant and ethnic communities is part of our common American identity and culture. We should celebrate it as our common, yet diverse, American heritage. In this, our aim is to change the way Americans think of themselves.
The Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame (IHHF):
Celebrates the diverse ethnic heritage of our state by honoring individuals and institutions, who exemplify the best of their immigrant heritage and have made outstanding contributions to the cultural, economic, and civic development of the state;
Preserves this heritage, by publishing the biographies of the inductees and the history of their ethnic communities;
Educates the public about the importance of immigrant heritage to the identity of the American nation, and the contributions of immigrants and immigrant communities to our country and state.
Our vision is to:
Establish an institution that will promote and publish research, lectures, and conferences on the immigrant heritage of our state, and the role of immigration in the American economy and culture;
Build an endowment to sponsor, and offer research fellowships in support of these activities.