About the project

Here you will witness the lives of Fedelina, Mario, Moisés, Yimel, Juan, Ofelia and Guadalupe. Just seven out of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were taken too soon by this pandemic. They got sick while working at grocery stores so we could continue to eat in quarantine. They became infected while cleaning our homes, offices, and hospitals. Teaching our kids, cooking our to-go orders and singing for us at our last public gatherings were their ultimate sacrifices.

They were so much more than their work though. They were fathers, mothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, lovers, children. They were full of music and laughter, courage and dreams. They gave up so much leaving their home countries and coming to a place that didn’t always welcome them. They fought so bravely to make a better future for their families.

In life, their immigration status pushed them into the shadows.

But in death, we gather here to celebrate their unending light. 

May their stories inspire and ignite change. May their hope fuel our own.

Each portrait has a QR code that will take you to a website where you can listen to interviews of the family members who have lost their loved ones. These oral histories will weave together some of the lives, joys, and losses of our community.

May their memories be a blessing.

This installation is inspired by the #ImmigrantsAreEssential campaign, founded by NILC and Resilience Force.
Creative team
Paola Mendoza
Becky Morrison
Executive Producer
Bianca Alvarez
Art Director
Abby Sher
Luna X Moya
Audio Editor
Gloria La Morte & Paola Mendoza
Voice Over Actors
Allyssa Argo
Ashley Garcia Lezcano
Research Assistant

This project was made possible with the generous support of:

Thank you’s

Many people and organizations made this COVID-19 memorial a reality. We are deeply grateful for their generosity.


National Immigration Law Center

Resiliance Force

Pilipino Workers Center

National Domestic Worker Alliance

Make the Road NY

Catalina Cruz, New York State Assembly Member

Jessica Gonzalez Rojas, New York State Assembly Member

The Soze Agency

Gabriela González

Danny González

Anabela Mendoza


Tell congressional leaders: Immigrants need a pathway to citizenship now. #ImmigrantsAreEssential