Just in time for the Fourth of July, Detroit landmark Shinola and Austin-based Preacher released a touching, patriotic spot that proudly showcases the stories of new Americans, all immigrants who came to the U.S. seeking--and finding--a better life.
A short film directed by Danny Clinch follows ten people with different vocations and different places of birth--Guinea, Brazil, Pakistan, Guyana--who became naturalized citizens at a ceremony at Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse in Manhattan last month. They speak candidly of the circumstances that brought them to America. For some it was a search for opportunity, for others a longing for safety.
The work is part of the launch of Shinola's sixth installment in its Great Americans series of limited-edition watches, based on the Statue of Liberty this time--the most enduring and recognizable symbol of immigration in the world. A group of the new citizens (and new voters, one of them reminds us) each received one of the watches, packaged in a box bearing the phrase "From this second forward, you are as American as the rest of us."
A full-page print ad also ran in the New York Times on Monday, leading with the tagline "As American As They Come Can Come From Anywhere." The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, which helped design the watches, is also launching a month-long crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the Statue of Liberty Museum, set to open in 2019.