World Refugee Day - a day to celebrate stories, diversity, and hope

World Refugee Day, observed annually on June 20, is a global event dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of refugees worldwide. It serves as a platform to honor the courage and resilience of forcibly displaced individuals, who have fled conflict, persecution, or natural disasters in search of safety and a better life. On this day, communities, organizations, and individuals come together to advocate for refugee rights, celebrate their contributions, and promote empathy and understanding. Through storytelling, cultural events, and educational initiatives, World Refugee Day aims to foster compassion and solidarity across borders. The IRC in Denver once again partnered with other Colorado resettlement organizations to join the Colorado Refugee Speaker's bureau in celebration.

The Colorado Refugee Speaker’s Bureau - amplifying voices & empowering narratives

The Colorado Refugee Speaker’s Bureau is a remarkable initiative that empowers refugees to share their stories, experiences, and resilience. Each year, the bureau welcomes a new cohort of speakers, providing them with training in storytelling, narrative creation, and public speaking. On June 20th, Denver’s Tivoli Turnhalle came alive with the powerful voices of refugees from around the world, as the Colorado Refugee Speaker’s Bureau Showcase was held: a celebration of resilience, courage, and hope, all in recognition of World Refugee Day 2024.

The showcase - a powerful evening centered around refugee voices - featured the newest members of the bureau, and speakers from Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Syria, and Iraq took the stage to their firsthand accounts of courage, hope, and resilience. Their lived experiences wove a rich tapestry of stories, highlighting the strength and determination of those who have sought refuge in Colorado. Attendees listened, learned, and were changed by the heartfelt narratives shared on that memorable evening. The event wasn’t just about storytelling; it was about building bridges, breaking down barriers, and celebrating the resilience of the human spirit. Thus, as the sun set over Tivoli Turnhalle, the Colorado Refugee Speaker’s Bureau Showcase left an indelible mark—a reminder that our shared humanity transcends borders and that hope thrives even in the face of adversity.