Catch the Wave: Donate to Sawyer Free 2025 Today!

Immigration and its Impact on Gloucester


  • On September 21st, “The Civic Hub” presented “One Game One Community Soccer Matchup” celebrating the rich multiculturalism of the Gloucester community.
  • “The Civic Hub” will serve as a sponsor of The Gloucester Stage Company’s production of “Native Gardens.” Together the organizations will facilitate a panel discussion following a stage performance of this critically acclaimed play which explores the issues of racism, and cultural privilege.

  • The Library hosted a film series, “The Immigrant Experience” on the first three Wednesday nights in November. This was a collaboration with Rob Newton from Cape Ann Cinema. Each film was followed by a moderated discussion.

  • Also in November, SFL in collaboration with Wellspring debuted “Portraits of Immigrants: Stories of Resilience” at the Library. This collection of photos and first-hand stories collected by author Miriam Weinstein of Wellspring’s ELOS students highlights the diverse, powerful, and inspirational experiences of Cape Ann immigrants.

  • Read press releases on Voices from the Margins, Fair Share: Addressing Income Inequality, and Portraits of Cape Ann Immigrants.


Watch a recording of the presentation and discussion “A Cry for Justice: The Challenges if Immigration.”




Portraits of Cape Ann Immigrants


Gloucester has always been a city of immigrants.  While earlier newcomers were mostly from Britain, Italy, and Portugal, today’s arrivals hail from all over the globe.  Our immigrant neighbors come from Morocco, Syria, Guatemala, Egypt, Honduras, Brazil, China, Afghanistan, South Korea, Iraq, Uganda, Mexico, and Senegal (just to name a few).  Like their predecessors, they are likely to be optimistic and hard-working.  They have traveled great distances to make life better for themselves and their families.  They come to escape civil war, gang violence, and government repression.  They come to provide safety, decent education, and economic opportunity for their families.  They miss so much about their native countries yet, in spite of all the challenges these newcomers face, they are grateful to call Cape Ann home. 


This exhibit, a collaboration between Sawyer Free Library and Wellspring, brings some of those newer faces to light.  The words are their own and celebrate the contributions immigrants have always woven into the fabric of Cape Ann. 


Reading List

Recommended books on The Immigrant Experience and where you can find them at the Library (download as printable PDF).



Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (Fic/Mbue)
House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea (Fic/Urrea)
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Fic/Vuong)
Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao (Fic/Rao)
Where We Come From by Oscar Cásares (Fic/Casares)
Manuelito by Elisa Amado (Graphic Novel/Amado)



The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú (920/Cantu)
Last Boat out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution by Helen Zia (951.04/Zia)
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas (304.8/Vargas)
This Land is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto by Suketu Mehta (305.9/Mehta)
A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story by Tom Gjelten (305.8/Gjelten)

Featured Lists
Most Popular
Featured Movies