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Refugees welcome

How celebrities supported refugees this year

For millions of people around the world, 2021 has been an especially challenging year. The impacts of COVID-19, climate change and persistent conflict hit all at once, fueling humanitarian crises and forcing families to flee their homes. 

We can define this moment by these crises—or we can define it by how we as a global community came together. In 2021, thousands of people around the world took a stand for refugees—including even some famous faces! 

We are honored that many of these celebrities chose to support the International Rescue Committee, uplifting and championing our work to help refugees and other people facing crises survive, recover and take control of their lives. 

Here are just some of the ways celebrities have helped make our work possible this year:

The IRC's newest ambassador: Rami Malek

Toward the end of 2021, actor Rami Malek joined the IRC as our newest Ambassador and recorded a special video message urging people to support our work. Best known for his portrayal of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), Rami was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2019. This year, he starred as a lead in The Little Things and the antagonist of the James Bond film No Time to Die. 

Rami said, “This is my first partnership with a humanitarian aid organization, and I’m honored to be able to use my profile to elevate such an important organization who are truly at the forefront—on the very front lines—delivering aid to the most difficult places.”

Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody use social media for good 

Throughout the year, IRC Ambassadors and husband and wife Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody used their growing social media following to take a stand in support of refugees and other people facing crises around the world.

Refugee and immigrant artists celebrate World Refugee Day 

Rapper Belly and ballerina Christine Shevchenko joined illustrator Diala Brisly and painter Muyambo Marcel Chishimba to lend their talents to the IRC’s World Refugee Day celebration.

Piper Perabo, Sepideh Moafi and Ebony Obsidian take action 

Actress Piper Perabo joined the IRC to talk to New York State legislators about funding refugee resettlement programs.

Actresses Sepideh Moafi and Ebony Obsidian opened the IRC’s advocacy summit States Lay the Foundation with a moving conversation about Sepideh’s own experience as a child in a refugee camp and the future of refugee resettlement in the U.S.

Well-known for her roles in HBO’s “The Deuce” and Showtime’s “The L Word: Generation Q,” Sepideh was born in a refugee camp in Germany to parents who had fled the Iranian Revolution in the 1980s. Ebony is currently starring in Tyler Perry’s “Sistas” on BET, Amazon’s “Hunters,” and soon on Hulu’s “Wu-Tang: The Saga." She comes to the IRC inspired by her mother and grandmother who fled Eritrea to Sudan, eventually resettling in the United States.

Our most dedicated supporters help make our Global Rescue Dinner a success

This spring, Keegan-Michael Key, Jay Ellis, Danielle de Niese and Morena Baccarin joined Rami, Sepideh, Mandy, and Kathryn to lend their voices to the IRC’s Global Rescue Dinner: Leadership in times of crisis. The event also included performances from singer Faouzia and Sting, and a fireside chat with David Miliband and Bryan Stevenson (founder of the Equal Justice Initiative).

Wearing a white blouse, Morena Baccarin looks at the camera

Actress and IRC Ambassador Morena Baccarin was one of many famous faces who participated in the IRC Global Rescue Dinner this spring.

Sepideh Moafi, Toni Cornell, Piper Perabo and Lilli Kay uplift the voices of Afghan girls 

To help the IRC uplift the perspectives of Afghan girls while protecting their identities, Sepideh Moafi, Toni Cornell, Piper Perabo and Lilli Kay lent their voices to a video featuring the words of Afghan girls as they looked to the future.