Idaho, June 20, 2020 — On World Refugee Day, the IRC in Boise joined the state of Idaho in a virtual celebration to honor the strength, stories, and traditions of local refugee community members. In addition to vibrant performances from Laos, Iran, Bosnia, and Congo, the day focused on highlighting and thanking the many essential refugee workers keeping our communities running during COVID-19.
We also heard reflections on the Black Lives Matter movement from Patrick Wangoi and Fidel Nshombo, and Shadi Ismail shared what celebrating Pride Month means to him.
During her remarks, the City of Boise's Mayor Lauren McLean proclaimed June 20th to be World Refugee Day in Boise:
We are, through this proclamation, renewing our commitment as a city and community to welcoming residents from all parts of the world, many of whom have come through years of hardship to find Boise, and Boise is now your home.
Local leaders' continued support of welcoming refugees, which also includes Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo and Twin Falls City Councilmember Shawn Barigar, comes at a time when the federal administration has set the cap on refugee arrivals at a mere 18,000, the lowest in the program's 40-year history. While a temporary pause issued due to COVID-19 is understandable, resuming the refugee resettlement program as soon as public health permits is critical. This is especially clear as we celebrate the contributions refugee healthcare and other essential workers have made to keep our communities safe during the global pandemic.
Idaho World Refugee Day media coverage: