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Celebrating World Refugee Day

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World Refugee Day is a time to celebrate refugee communities in Washington state, a time to raise awareness of the challenges facing refugee communities locally and globally, and a time to take action in support of our refugee neighbors. 

Elder Nepali man dances at IRC community garden.
Photo: Hannah Letinich/IRC

Nearly 80 million people around the world – 1% of humanity – have been forced to flee their homes due to violence and persecution. At the same time, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for displaced people to safely return home or to begin building again in a new country. The Biden administration has begun to take steps toward reversing the racist and xenophobic refugee and asylum policies put in place by the previous administration, including a commitment to welcome up to 125,000 refugees to the U.S. next year. Here at the IRC, we're looking forward to welcoming more refugee families to Washington in the months and years ahead. But we also know that reversing the previous administration's policies is only the first step. We must continue the hard work of not only addressing the damage done over the past 4+ years, but creating better systems for welcoming refugees and asylum-seekers to our communities that center human rights, dignity, and self-determination.

None of us can stay on the sideline if we want to achieve this vision of a better, brighter future. This World Refugee Day, let's take action, raise awareness, and advocate for a more welcoming community and country for all. Here are some ways to get started today:  

Welcome newcomer students

Team up with family, friends, or colleauges to build back-to-school kits for elementary and secondary school students. Help ensure newcomer students participating in IRC summer programs and returning back to school this fall have the tools they need!

Shop at the Tukwila Village Farmers Market

Starting June 23rd, every Wednesday from 4-7pm gardeners from the IRC’s New Roots program will be selling fresh, organic produce on a weekly basis. SNAP benefits accepted and doubled with SNAP Market Match. Learn more.

Support refugee and immigrant owned business

Support local refugee & immigrant entrepreneurs, such as food stall vendors at Food Innovation Network's Spice Bridge Global Food Hall and artisans from Refugee Artisan Initiative

Advocate for welcoming communities

Call on President Biden to welcome 125,000 refugees to the U.S. next year. Also follow and support the work of local refugee- and immigrant-led advocacy groups like Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network and OneAmerica.

Donate to the IRC in Seattle’s Emergency Fund

People from refugee and immigrant communities continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19's impacts on our community. Help local families impacted by COVID-19 meet basic needs and stay on track toward their post-pandemic goals. 

Volunteer your time and talents

Join the IRC's incredible team of volunteers. Come to a virtual info session to learn more about getting involved in IRC's work in the months ahead.

Join the World Refugee Day Advocacy Summit on June 22nd

Join the IRC for a virtual World Refugee Day Advocacy Summit hosted in partnership with the Refugee Advocacy Lab. Hear from refugee community leaders, elected officials, and IRC programs across the U.S. Learn more and RSVP here.

Have questions about any of the above opportunities or events? Contact us at Seattle [at] Rescue.org. Thank you for making #RefugeesWelcome this World Refugee Day and everyday!