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NYC’s first lady has given her first solo speech on immigration and she wants the world to know that she is a “G.” No, really. “Now, I am a G-two, a second generation immigrant,” Chirlane McCray said during her speech. McCray’s first speech since her hubby, Bill deBlasio was sworn in as NYC’s mayor was one for the books. NYC’s first lady addressed a crowd of hundreds at the Christian Cultural Center (CCC) in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn to support a new immigration initiative.

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She entered the room to a standing ovation, after which she said, “I bring warm greetings from my husband, who’s my heart, my partner, and our mayor, Bill de Blasio.” And then she got down to business and told the crowd about her new immigration initiative called The G Project, which is a groundbreaking venture by The Black Institute, a new “action tank” created by renowned activist Bertha Lewis. Lewis launched The G Project to ensure that Black voices are included in the push for immigration reform. The goal of The G Project is to raise awareness of the fact that Americans of African descent represent multifarious backgrounds, demonstrating that immigration is not solely a Latino issue.

McCray shared her personal story as the descendant of immigrants after the crowd viewed a video featuring herself and her children explaining their heritage.

“Now those are some cute kids up there, right?” McCray joked about Chiara de Blasio, 18, and her brother, 16-year-old Dante. In the video, McCray explained that she’s a “G-two” in the language of the project as a second generation immigrant, while her offspring are “G-threes.”

“Now, I am a G-two, a second generation immigrant,” McCray said. “But when people look at me, and hear me, they see that I don’t speak with an accent. They see me as African-American, but they don’t think about where my people came from. And I am not unique. When it comes to immigration, there are 60 million people like you and me, and our voices are too important. The stakes are too high for us to not be heard.”

“Whether you have recently arrived in the United States, or you have been here for generations, you know the benefits of reforming our immigration laws cannot be denied,” McCray continued. “And I can think of no better time than now for The Black Institute to launch The G Project. Whether we consider ourselves African, Caribbean, or African-American, everyone needs to know their heritage. Everyone needs to know their roots. After all, you cannot fulfill your future, unless you honor your past.”

Here’s how you can participate in The G Project.

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