Today is World Refugee Day

Today, June 20th, is World Refugee Day.

On this day we commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.

Because of your work in refugee resettlement, those few refugees that make a home in the United States have the opportunity to work and learn the skills necessary to make positive contributions in their new communities.

 

Friday Feature: Best of World Refugee Day 2016

If there’s anything positive about the ongoing backlash against resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S., it’s an increase in excellent public awareness communication to combat it.

Here are three of Higher’s favorite pieces commemorating World Refugee Day 2016:

1. A short film from singer Alicia Keys, set in a war-torn Los Angeles where U.S. families are forced to flee violence to safety across the border in Mexico.

2. An eloquent opinion editorial from Welcoming America on cnn.com

3.  The history of Bosnian refugee impact in revitalizing a St. Louis, MO neighborhood on upworthy.com

Share your favorite World Refugee Day celebrations at information@higheradvantage.org.

How You’re Celebrating World Refugee Day

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 9.09.10 AMClearly, I’m not the only one who get excited about Refugee Day. Here’s how four readers are celebrating in their communities – and highlighting refugee employment!

Check out Higher’s previous World Refugee Day post for a list of events across the country.

Showcasing Employers and Refugee Workplace Success

“We compiled a photo series of our clients in the workplace and briefly share their workplace journey.  We also compiled testimonials from several employers whom accompany our clients.”

Simone Walton, MSW, Program Manager, Bridge Refugee Services. Knoxville, TN

Partnering with Ikea to Sell Refugee Social Enterprise Products on Refugee Day

Open Arms, a project of Multicultural Refugee Coalition in Austin, TX collaborated with IKEA on a special collection of refugee-made products available in select Ikea stores starting on Refugee Day.

From so many of my Austin, TX friends, I can’t cite just one.

Check out the video that tells all about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZwkGartLYg

Screening The Good Lie – starring Reese Witherspoon as an Employment Specialist

“We will be showing the film The Good Lie followed by a panel discussion and will open World Refugee Day Toledo with a Refugee Storyteller, to match the UNHCR’s theme for this year “Meet a Refugee”.

Salma Barudi, Lucas County, Ohio

 Getting Everyone Involved in Planning Festivities

“Debbie Ansbacher, Community Liaison. Florida Refugee Services Program is organizing a big event for World Refugee Day. She is making a huge difference. The impact she has on our refugees’ life in amazing.”

Hind Chahed, Coordinator,The Center for Language and Culture, Jacksonville, FL

What Are YOUR Plans for World Refugee Day 2015?

Refugee Day 2009 104Next Saturday, June 20 is World Refugee Day!  Here’s a list of refugee day events all across the country from RCUSA.

Refugee day is a great chance to deepen employer engagement and boost public awareness.  Click here for more good ideas to use Refugee Day in your job development activities.

How will you celebrate? Email information@higheradvantage.org about how you’re engaging employers in your World Refugee Day activities.

 

 

Job Development + World Refugee Day = Opportunities to Deepen Employer Engagement

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Intriguing scene from World Refugee Day. Guaranteed to up employer engagement.

World Refugee Day on June 20 (Friday this year) seems far away.  But it’s not too early to start preparing to engage employers in a variety of possible strategies around refugee day activities in your community.

Refugee Day celebrations are colorful, informative and family friendly.  Depending on how your community celebrates, consider the following strategies to begin, maintain or deepen employer and refugee co-worker engagement:

  • Provide signage to promote activities in your community to boost attendance and awareness among all employees where clients are working.
  • Collaborate with a few major employers to link a refugee theme to a regular event they already offer or organizing something special around refugee day.
  • Help refugee employees request scheduled time off  to join in community celebrations.  Maybe they could attend with their supervisor or someone else from their workplace on the clock with employer support.
  • Work with senior staff, key employers or members of your agency’s board to organize a quick tour of refugee day for prospective employers you want to engage or target for more placements.
  • Highlight employers and recruit new partners with an information table or display.  You never know who will attend.  They’ll definitely be inspired by what they see and learn.  It could be a great way to begin a conversation with new employers.
  • Promote corporate volunteer opportunities to organize or staff refugee day events.  Many employers encourage their employees to volunteer for civic engagement and team building.
  • Generate some media coverage highlighting an employer partner and their refugee employees leveraging the tie in to World Refugee Day.

Share your ideas or success stories around World Refugee Day and Job Development!

And if you aren’t involved in a community event already, now’s the perfect time to engage your entire agency in planning one.