The U.S. has had a long, proud tradition of offering people fleeing war and crisis a new start. Today, arrivals of resettled refugees have dropped to their lowest levels ever. As new Americans, we know that refugee resettlement is more than a humanitarian lifeline: Welcoming newcomers is also good for our country and economy.
What is the Refugee Voices movement?
Refugee Voices is a platform for former refugees to advocate, tell their story, volunteer, or take other actions in support of refugees and refugee programs in the U.S. It is hosted by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which has refugee resettlement offices in 24 U.S. cities as well as humanitarian programs in more than 40 countries.
Why is it important?
The future of America as a beacon of hope for refugees is on the line. With over 68 million people displaced in the world, the need to support refugees and families seeking safety is more urgent now than ever. We need your voice.
Who is eligible to participate?
Refugee Voices is open to all former refugees, regardless of how they arrived in the U.S. or which agency helped them to resettle. Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders, asylees, parolees and other people who have been displaced from their countries are also invited to participate.
What are the benefits to participating?
Refugee Voices offers you an opportunity to:
- Give back by supporting refugees and refugee resettlement programs
- Help other refugees to rebuild their lives in the U.S.
- Network and meet other people with similar experiences and backgrounds
- Develop skills in topics and areas of interest
- Share your story with others in your community or around the country
- Gain experience with public advocacy if that interests you
- Help build a community of refugees of many backgrounds from the ground up
What will I be asked to do?
There may be opportunities to participate in Refugee Voices activities in your local community or at a national level. Once you sign up, we will periodically email you opportunities to help that could include:
- Writing, calling, or meeting with elected officials
- Demonstrating community support for refugees
- Sharing your story
- Participating in a training or informational event
- Mentoring a newly arrived refugee
- Volunteering with a refugee program
- Fundraising for refugee programs
- Your own ideas for taking action. Refugee Voices is a new and growing program shaped by participant interests. If you have ideas you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you!
If you are interested in finding out if there are any upcoming Refugee Voices opportunities in your community, you can contact: [email protected].