On March 8th, the IRC in Denver once again hosted a successful annual RefugeeDay at the State Capitol, sponsored by legislative representative Iman Jodeh. The purpose of the event was to provide a learning opportunity for refugees and refugee advocates on their state government workings, as well as to discuss best practices on how to support and advocate for the communities and issues closest to their hearts.

State legislators and staff hearing directly from refugee advocates
State legislators and staff discussing challenges and successes in refugee advocacy work
Photo: IRC Denver

For state legislators and their staff the event provided plenty of information on refugee resettlement in the U.S., with a special focus on Colorado’s role in welcoming our newest neighbors. Additionally, a voice was given to refugee and former refugee Coloradans to allow legislators and their staff to engage directly in discourse with individuals who were resettled under the U.S. Refugee Admission Program and now call Colorado home.

Event attendees started their day by observing the morning sessions on the Senate floor, before embarking on a guided tour of the State Capitol, and concluding their visit by having small group discussions with legislators and their staff. While legislators highlighted their gratitude for refugee advocates, affirmed them that they share into their passion, and outlined their current agendas designed to benefit refugee communities, advocates pinpointed very specific topics such as increased funding for ESL classes or interpreters, transportation expansion needs for clients, and access to culturally and linguistically appropriate communication material for new arrivals.   

Overall, Refugee Day at the State Capitol stressed the numerous partnerships of the IRC with other like-minded organizations and individuals across multiple communities in Colorado. The IRC is especially grateful to our co-hosts, the Asian Pacific Development Center, DiversifiED Consulting, ECDC African Community Center, Emily Griffith Technical College, Focus Point Family Resource Center, Soccer Without Borders, Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning, and Stride Community Health Center. The IRC is excited to keep on partnering with refugee advocacy organizations and state legislators in order to explore novel ways to aid and advance pro-refugee legislation and policies in Colorado. 

Co-sponsors Refugee Day 2023
The IRC Denver thanks all Co-sponsors of the Refugee Advocacy Day 2023

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