USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Events

Make Your Voice Heard on World Refugee Day, June 20, 2012

Albany, NYDes Moines, IADearborn, MIErie, PARaleigh, NCBurlington, VTWashington, DC

Mark your calendars for the upcoming World Refugee Day on June 20th, an annual event that reflects on the plight of millions of refugees and asylum seekers around the world. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are forced to flee their homelands under dire threat of persecution and violence. World Refugee Day honors the individuals who face grueling physical and psychological obstacles in order to seek safety and a better future for themselves and their families.

Adopted by a United Nations resolution in December 2000 to show solidarity with Africa Refugee Day, World Refugee Day is a time to highlight the major causes of displacement of human beings around the world, especially ethnic, religious and political persecution and oppression. Over 44 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide, and continue to look for safe haven free of violence, hunger and poverty.
This year marks the 61st anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention that established once and for all the legal definition of a refugee, their rights, and the legal obligations of states.  Here in the United States, the passage of the Refugee Act of 1980 established the legal status of ‘asylum’ by incorporating the 1951 Refugee Convention’s definition of refugee. Today, the need for protection of asylum seekers and refugees is crucial.

It is important, and it supports the work that USCRI undertakes on a daily basis, to engage friends, family, elected officials, and supporters in advocacy for refugees. World Refugee Day presents a great opportunity to take action to show your support for communities that are welcoming; by making a donation to or volunteering for refugee and immigrant-related organizations; or advocating for refugees’ rights and needs.

Leading up to World Refugee Day on June 20th please consider writing a letter to the editor of your daily local newspaper, emphasizing the needs and concerns of refugees -- here is a handy list of Talking Points).  Your voice can help spread the word and encourage needed support of readers, having a positive impact on your community. There will be events around the country taking place, and we encourage you to attend and show your support for America’s newcomers. 

World Refugee Day continues to underscore the needs and contributions of refugee resettlement.  Here is a list of community events in the towns where USCRI works.  Hope you can join us!

USCRI Albany 

USCRI’s Annual World Refugee Day Picnic & Soccer Tournament
When: Saturday, June 16 from 12-5:00 pm
Where: Albany’s Lincoln Park

One of the most exciting events of the year for refugee families, USCRI volunteers, staff, and community partners is the Annual World Refugee Day Picnic. Enjoy an afternoon of food, soccer, and family fun! Adults are welcome to compete in a soccer match while younger kids will have the great opportunity to ride a pony!  Please bring a dish to share at the picnic. Other donations and event volunteers are also needed. For more information or to RSVP, please email info@uscri-albany.org.

USCRI Des Moines 

Des Moines Farmers’ Market
When: Saturday, June 23 from 8:00 am-noon
Where: Court Avenue District

Come check out our information booth at the Saturday Market. Information about the work of USCRI and the contributions of the refugee community will be provided.

USCRI Detroit 

World Refugee Day Picnic
When: Friday, June 22 from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Where: Veterans Memorial Park, 27400 Campbell, Warren, MI

Enjoy a great picnic day at the park with family and friends. The picnic will include games, sport activities, prizes, entertainment, and food. Please bring a dish to share if possible.

International Institute of Erie 

Mid-Day Art Break
When: Wednesday, June 27 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Where: World Refugee Day Event at the Erie Art Museum

Bring your family, friends, and colleagues and stop by the Museum’s 5th Street patio for a Mid-Day Art Break.  Plan a visit to the activity room where you can sample food from Bhutan and Iraq, have your name written in Arabic, try on traditional clothing from Burma, or watch a demonstration of traditional Bhutanese weaving.  You can also check out live music from our local refugee communities on the patio between 12-1:00 pm. 

USCRI North Carolina 

World Refugee Day 2012 Festival
When: Saturday, June 16 from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: The Martin Building at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607

Performances onstage from local refugees hailing from around the world. Cultural exhibits and artisan booths from Burma, Bhutan, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Sudan, Ethiopia, Laos, and Congo will be there for you to enjoy. Performances will continue throughout the day, closing with an international Parade of Nations, recognizing North Carolina's refugees. Free and open to the public!

USCRI NC Open House
When: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Where: USCRI North Carolina Office at 3801 Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh

Come by the USCRI North Carolina offices for an open house event on World Refugee Day.

Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program 

World Refugee Day Celebration
When: Sunday, June 24 from 12-4:00 pm
Where: Lawn of Unitarian Universalist Society, 152 Pearl Street, Burlington, VT

Live entertainment will take place in the entertainment tent from cultures who are newly resettled in Vermont including Bhutanese, Bosnian, Burmese, Burundian, Congolese, Rwandan, Somali, and Vietnamese. Family games will take place on the lawn, as well as art displays, and a children’s clothing ‘give away.’ Bring your friends and family to enjoy the music and activities.

Washington, DC 

Businesses Pitch-In on World Refugee Day!
When: Wednesday, June 20

Ten Thousand Villages and Seoul Food DC are honoring World Refugee Day by donating a percentage of their profits to USCRI!  Proceeds from their June 20th sales will enable USCRI to provide hope and opportunity to refugees!  Please support Ten Thousand Villages and Seoul Food DC on June 20 and year-round!

**The Seoul Food DC truck will be parked in Rosslyn on June 20.

©2011 USCRI
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