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Over 250 Georgians show love for refugees at the Capitol

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On Valentine’s Day, the IRC in Atlanta’s staff, clients and volunteers joined more than 250 fellow advocates at the Georgia State Capitol for the sixth annual New Americans Celebration. Hosted by the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA), the New Americans Celebration is the annual day of education and outreach for refugees, immigrants and Georgia community members who support them.

New Americans Celebration attendees gather for a photo with Governor Brian Kemp and Representatives.

New Americans Celebration attendees gather for a photo with Governor Brian Kemp and Representatives.

Photo: Cory Hancock

With “Georgia Loves Refugees” t-shirts and red bags spread throughout the Capitol all morning, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were able to engage with Georgia’s community of new Americans and hear their stories and contributions first-hand.

New Americans Celebration attendees visited lawmakers in their offices and at the ropes throughout the morning.

New Americans Celebration attendees visited lawmakers in their offices and at the ropes throughout the morning.

Photo: Cory Hancock

More than 250 attendees ensured that the CRSA 2018 Annual Report—which highlights the cultural, social, and economic contributions of refugees and immigrants in Georgia—was delivered to all 236 offices in the Georgia General Assembly.

IRC Atlanta executive director, J.D. McCrary, with Senator P.K. Martin at the New Americans Celebration.

IRC Atlanta executive director, J.D. McCrary, with Senator P.K. Martin at the New Americans Celebration.

Photo: Cory Hancock

Resolutions were passed in the House and Senate to commemorate New Americans Day at the Capitol and recognize the contributions of refugees and immigrants in Georgia. Special thanks to Representatives Bee Nguyen, Brenda Lopez and Bill Werkheiser, and Senator P.K. Martin, for their sponsorship of these resolutions and support of this event.

Resolutions: SR 97  HR 194  HR 174

Team IRC Atlanta at the New Americans Celebration, including special guests, Hans Van de Weerd and Nuam San.

Team IRC Atlanta at the New Americans Celebration, including special guests, Hans Van de Weerd and Nuam San.

Photo: Cory Hancock

We were also honored to have IRC’s Vice President of U.S. Programs, Hans Van de Weerd, with us at the Capitol, as well as IRC Youth Futures graduate and current Agnes Scott College freshman, Nuam San, who was featured in the New York Times last December.

Read Nuam San in the New York Times

"Let there be a door for an opportunity for refugees and let us shine while seeking freedom." — Nuam San

"Let there be a door for an opportunity for refugees and let us shine while seeking freedom." — Nuam San

Photo: Cory Hancock

The New Americans Celebration featured a press conference to release the CRSA 2018 Annual Report and data, and Nuam San was a featured guest speaker. She addressed the crowd gathered at the Capitol’s South Stairwell and requested: "Let there be a door for an opportunity for refugees and let us shine while seeking freedom."

Representatives from the offices of Senator Johnny Isakson, Congressman Hank Johnson, Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Lucy McBath and Congressman Rob Woodall were in attendance.

Representatives from the offices of Senator Johnny Isakson, Congressman Hank Johnson, Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Lucy McBath and Congressman Rob Woodall were in attendance.

Photo: Cory Hancock

Also attending the press conference were representatives from the offices of Senator Johnny Isakson, Congressman Hank Johnson, Congressman John Lewis, Congresswoman Lucy McBath and Congressman Rob Woodall. We are proud that the refugee resettlement program has such strong, bipartisan support from Georgia's federal and state leaders. This Valentine’s Day, everyone agreed that Georgia Loves Refugees!

Photo album: New Americans Celebration 2019

 

The IRC in Atlanta is proud to be a founding member of the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA). Sign up for CRSA Action Alerts to keep up to date on our advocacy work and future events. If you have questions please contact Communications and Advocacy Coordinator, Fiona Freeman, at Fiona.Freeman [at] Rescue.org.

To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at Kalie.Lasiter [at] Rescue.org or 678-636-8941.

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