Join the IRC and our partners as we host the 3rd annual Refugee Advocacy Week at the Florida State Capitol from March 22 - 26. Directly impacted communities, refugee service providers, faith leaders, advocates and supporters will mobilize virtually across the state to educate legislators, elevate the voices of the refugee community, and celebrate the contributions of new Americans in Florida.
Refugee Advocacy Week in Florida kicked-off this Monday with an Advocacy Training—led by the IRC in Tallahassee’s very own Site Manager, Una Bilic. Una arrived in Florida as a refugee from Bosnia along with her family when she was a child, and this lived experience has made her a passionate advocate for refugee resettlement and the communities she serves. With years of experience advocating with federal, state and local elected leaders—in Florida and Washington, D.C.—Una was a natural choice to lead the training for over 50 advocacy week participants.
Una along with IRC Caseworker, Tara Catanach, and their team of interns, also worked with several IRC clients in the Tallahassee community to prepare to share their stories with elected representatives as part of the Refugee Advocacy Week activities. So far, the team have met with the office of Florida State Representative, Allison Tant and the office of Congressman Neal Dunn, along with clients Elia Bahati from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Safa and Belal Alshiakh, a couple from Syria.
Wednesday’s event was a Refugee Advocacy Roundtable, featuring panelists from all sectors, including long-time IRC partner, Terry Coonan who is the Executive Director at Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. In case you missed it, watch the replay here.
We hope you will join us this Friday from 12pm – 1pm for the final event of Refugee Advocacy Week—our Virtual Press Conference. Faith leaders, refugee community members and elected leaders will speak about the importance of continuing to welcome refugees to Florida. Our very own, Una Bilic will share some of her personal story as well as her work welcoming refugees to Tallahassee over the past six years. We hope you can make it!
To learn more about the work of the IRC in Florida and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, JC Torres, at Juan.Torres [at] Rescue.org (subject: IRC%20in%20Florida) or 786-325-6257.
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