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World Refugee Day - June 20

The UNHCR refugee camp. Photo: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations' (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.


Figures at a Glance (UNHCR website)

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Sign the #WithRefugees Campaign petition - The petition asks governments to:

What can you do to honor the courage of refugees?

Learn more about the current refugee situtation. Visit the UNHCR website.

Learn more about the contributions of refugees to the US, including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Gloria Estefan, Henry Kissinger, and Madeleine Albright

Download "My Life as a Refugee" (available on IOS and Android) or "Finding Home" (available only on Android) app - Could you survive?

Other interactive opportunities on the internet to learn more or experience what it is like to be a refugee:

Visit the St. Louis Art Museum and the Simon Attie's exhibit; watch "The Crossing"

Consider hiring an immigrant or refugee

Invite an IISTL Speakers Bureau member to make a presentation

Volunteer to be trained to make presentations yourself

Visit the IISTL Facebook page for 'Face of a Refugee'

Wear UN blue on June 20 to show your support.

Read a book about refugees:

Make a donation to a refugee service agency, including the International Institute.

World Refugee Day Events


World Refugee Day Picnic - Saturday, June 17 - 1-3 pm at New City South

This year, in celebration of World Refugee Day, a number of organizations (including MIRA and the Multicultural Counseling & Research Center) are hosting a World Refugee Day Picnic on Saturday June 17. The picnic will be open for all families, and will include food and drink along with games and prizes for children of all ages. There are still opportunities for you or your organization to help sponsor this event by donating cases of bottled water, pizzas ($20) or salad trays, crayons and markers (for kids’ prizes), as well as simply volunteering on the day of the event. As you can see, small donations go a long way! If you or your organization are interested in sponsoring/donating or volunteering, please contact Jessie Chappell at jessie@cgimmigrationlaw.com.


Guest Author Speakers - Tuesday, June 20 - 5-8pm at Left Bank Books

5PM - Amy Shrodes - Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush's Incredible Journey
This heartwarming true story about one lost cat’s journey to be reunited with his refugee family gently introduces children to a difficult topic and shows how ordinary people can help with compassion and hope.

6PM - Doug Moore- St Louis Post Dispatch Refugee Resettlement Correspondent
Doug Moore has been a reporter with the Post-Dispatch for 13 years. His current beat is diversity and demographics, which includes covering issues involving race, gay rights, refugee resettlement and immigration reform. He was the recipient of the 2010 Terry Hughes Award, given annually by the St. Louis Newspaper Guild to a reporter who champions the underdog and brings attention to populations that would not otherwise have a voice. He also won a first place writing award from the Missouri Associated Press Media Editors for a profile on the Kirkwood City Hall shooter.

7 PM - Tom Kemp - The Ragged Edge
The Ragged Edge is US Marine Michael Zacchea’s (cowritten by Tom Kemp) deeply personal and powerful account of hopeful determination, of brotherhood and betrayal, and of cultural ignorance and misunderstanding. It sheds light on the dangerous pitfalls of training foreign troops to fight insurgents and terrorists, precisely when such wartime collaboration is happening more than at any other time in US history.

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