KIND’s Los Angeles Office Celebrates Immigrant Heritage Month and World Refugee Day

June 28, 2024

On June 8, 32 clients and their families gathered at KIND’s Los Angeles office to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month and World Refugee Day with the community and share a festive day of activities. “Our office was full of vida (life),” said Diana Diaz Madera, social services supervisor at KIND’s Los Angeles and Fresno offices. Diana and Social Service Supervisors Jacqueline Garcia-Leon and Dennise Onchi-Molina planned the event to celebrate their clients and their heritage.

Morning Activities

Art and Expression Workshop

In the morning, Kara Anton of partner organization Give Kids Artled children 12 and under in an art and expression workshop to help them feel, process, and share their emotions about their past and future. Using the butterfly as a metaphor to teach the children to own their experiences and potential, she worked with the children to draw their own monarch butterflies, famous for their long migration, as a way of exploring their memories, dreams, and journeys from their home countries to their current home of California. 

Children’s Reflections

“What do you carry in your magic wings? What memories, sights, sounds, and smells from your country do you carry here?” she asked. The children talked about the dreams, people, and places they carry with them.

  • “My grandma’s pupusas,” one young girl said.
  • “School friends,” said another.

Many drew their country’s flags. They shared dreams like spending time with their mom, going to school, having fun with their friends, and feeling safe. “You are like the butterfly,” she told the kids. Give Kids Art also gave art kits to the kids to take home.

Parents’ Reactions

Afterwards, some of the parents and family members approached KIND staff crying, and said, “Thank you for making us feel at home and letting our kids remember our country. This is not something we are often given space to do.”

Afternoon Activities

Poetry and Storytelling Workshop

In the afternoon, award-winning poet Alejandro Jiminez who is an immigrant led a poetry and storytelling workshop with the older youth about their migration stories or anything else they wanted to express. After reading one of his poems, Alejandro guided the youth in writing about some of the hardest and proudest moments of their life. The youth received notebooks to continue writing.

Support from Immigrant-Owned Businesses

KIND also hired immigrant-owned businesses as vendors and received donations from immigrant-owned businesses, including:

  • A grocery store owner in east Los Angeles
  • A baker who donated pan dulce (sweet bread)
  • A local farmer who provided freshly harvested vegetables
  • A woman who makes tamales and is an asylee

When asked what message they wanted to send to our kids, the vendors said:

  • “Que sí se puede” (That they can do it)
  • “Que no están solos” (That they are not alone)

Every child received a box of dry goods with vegetables, bread, toys, new shoes, socks, and computers. The shoes came from another partner, which inspired the name of our event, “Marcando Pasos” or Marking Steps. Diana explained, “The name honors the steps our youth have taken to get here and celebrates the many steps they will take in this country.”



“The day was a celebration of our kids for who they are. The message was and is you are valued for who you are. We know how difficult it was for you to get here and you are valued and celebrated,” said Diana. “The event was made possible through the love and support of many community organizations, businesses, and individuals—an example of how community support can be a pillar for immigrant youth.”

Young child near border.

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