WRD 2018 Press Release

World Refugee Day 2018 Celebration

"I urge you to celebrate the extraordinary courage and contributions of refugees past and present."
-Kofi Annan, Former Secretary General of the United Nations 


May 29, 2018
Utica, New York.

The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees and presenting sponsor, Fidelis Care invite the public to join them in celebrating World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 16th in Hanna Park at Utica City Hall from 12 PM until 4 PM. Utica, a city known as “The Town that Loves Refugees,” is an especially appropriate place to commemorate refugees’ endurance and reflect on their contributions to the local community.

World Refugee Day will begin with a special United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony to naturalize thirty community members as new citizens of the United States. This ceremony will be followed by a wide range of activities for the whole family, including music and dance performances from many different cultures, as well as a puppet show. The Utica Zoomobile will be present, as well as educational displays by the Utica Fire and Police Departments. Activities will also include craft projects for children, face painting and henna designs. There will also be food for purchase from a variety of local ethnic food trucks , and traditional handicrafts for sale from the One World Artisans, a microenterprise group from the refugee and immigrant communities. Entertainment and educational displays will provide insight to refugee resettlement; the refugee experience and the amazing additions refugees have contributed that to Utica’s mosaic and history.

The first World Refugee Day, held on June 20th, 2001, marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. Observed every year, World Refugee Day provides an opportunity to honor the courage of our community’s neighbors and their resilience in building new lives.

Utica’s Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees is a non-profit organization that provides services to refugees, immigrants, and Limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. MVRCR’s goal is to help individuals and families achieve independence and self-sufficiency in their new communities. Founded in 1981, MVRCR has resettled over 16,000 refugees in the Mohawk Valley.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Shelly Callahan, Executive Director at 315-738-1083 ext. 112 or via e-mail at shellyc@mvrcr.org

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