As the number of people who are displaced continues to increase—now over 82.4 million worldwide— we find it a great privilege at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to be an integral part of the humanitarian efforts to provide the support and resources for refugee families working hard to rebuild their lives in the U.S. Utah remains committed to being a welcoming community for refugees and new Americans from around the world. Year after year, this is evidenced by the incredible support we receive from generous community members who give their time and resources.
In an effort to raise awareness and provide educational opportunities for our community about refugee resettlement and the people we serve, the IRC in Salt Lake City formed a Speakers Bureau, comprised of trained staff members who are committed to engaging with supporters, advocating for refugees and educating Utahns about the work of the IRC. You can request a speaker to attend your next virtual or in-person event, whether it is a formal presentation or a brief overview of our work.
First, we ask you to review our Frequently Asked Questions listed below, then complete our Speaker Request Form. Once you have submitted a request for a speaker, we will follow up with more information and will coordinate the appropriate IRC representative to attend your event.
Speakers Bureau FAQ
What is the Speakers Bureau?
The Speakers Bureau at the IRC in Salt Lake City was formed in response to the rising need to raise awareness of refugee resettlement and provide educational opportunities for our community of supporters. Our local Speakers Bureau is comprised of IRC staff who have varying years of service and experience working with refugee and new American communities.
Who will be confirmed to speak for my event?
An IRC in Salt Lake City staff member who is trained to speak about refugee resettlement, the work of the IRC and more.
Can the IRC put me in contact with a refugee to speak at my event?
No. Following our safeguarding policies and preserving the confidentiality of the people we serve, we are unable to arrange speakers from the refugee community. The Speakers Bureau was formed to educate community members about refugees, resettlement, and the work of the IRC while promoting the humanity of all those seeking refuge and preserving the dignity of those served by the IRC. A refugee’s story is personal and one that is shared when chosen, not when requested. For stories told through a refugee’s own perspective, we can provide video clips that highlight the refugee journey.
How far in advance should I request a speaker?
We prefer four weeks’ notice of a request in order to coordinate and confirm a speaker. We cannot ensure a speaker will be available if the request is received within four weeks. However, we may be able to provide materials for you to conduct an informed DIY presentation, including a video package and other educational materials.
How far is the IRC speaker willing to travel for the event?
We prioritize speaking engagements within Salt Lake County. We may be able to accommodate requests outside of the specified area with advanced notice or provide a video package with prepared materials so you can share information with your group. We are also able to support virtual presentations via video call applications like Zoom.
What happens if I need to cancel, reschedule, or move the location of my event?
We understand that the unexpected happens. We ask that you notify our staff as soon as possible when you know a cancellation is necessary or if the event date or location changes. Please understand that we may not be able to coordinate a new speaker relative to changes on short notice or even with advance notice. In the event we cannot coordinate another speaker for the event, we will offer you resources and materials to share with your group.
What happens if the IRC speaker isn’t able to make it?
If a last-minute change takes place and no IRC representative is able to attend an event, we will work with the event organizer to try to reschedule or pivot to a virtual platform. Upon request, informational materials and resources may be provided instead of staff presence in the event that an IRC representative is unable to attend.
What is my commitment as the event organizer?
Depending on the event type, we may ask you to provide a projector, projector screen and laptop. The IRC Speaker will bring a flash drive containing presentation materials. If you are unable to provide requested resources, kindly let us know as soon as possible so we can source the necessary equipment.
Additional questions? Contact us at SaltLakeCity [at] Rescue.org or by phone at 385-424-0527.