City of Alexandria Supports World Refugee Day, Encourages Participation in Local Events, Global Campaign

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City of Alexandria Supports World Refugee Day, Encourages Participation in Local Events, Global Campaign 

For Immediate Release: June 15, 2021

The City of Alexandria encourages residents and businesses to show their solidarity with refugees on World Refugee Day, June 20. The community is invited to participate in local events and a global campaign to show support for the 26 million refugees around the world and those who have made their new home in Alexandria. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) sponsors World Refugee Day each year to commemorate the strength, courage and resilience of refugees – individuals who have been forced to leave their countries to escape war, persecution or natural disaster. Many endured severe hardships during their escapes and continue to face challenges in their new lives in America, ranging from securing work and housing, to learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture. 

Alexandria is home to thousands of refugees from across the world. According to the “ New Americans in Alexandria 2018” report, refugees make up almost 17% of the 42,000 immigrants living in Alexandria and work in key industries, including transportation, hospitality and retail. People who have been forced to flee often struggle to find a doctor when they are sick, find schools for their children or even a place for them to play.

This year, the global UNHCR campaign theme is “Together we heal, learn and shine,” and encourages advocating for protection and inclusion of refugees in health care, education and sports: 

  • Newcomer Talent Showcase, on June 16, from 7 to 8 p.m., is a free virtual event celebrating expressions of courage and creativity hosted by City partner Lutheran Social Services National Capital Area.

  • World Refugee Day Celebrating Community, on June 18, from 5 to 8 p.m., is a free outdoor event hosted by Lutheran Social Services and features kite flying, live music, volleyball and soccer, and food and drinks.

  • Together We Heal, Learn and Shine,” from June 17-19, is a free event presented by UNHCR, the Kennedy Center and local coalition One Journey, featuring live music performances; a film screening; dance and yoga sessions; a global marketplace, and more.

Visit alexandriava.gov/DCHS to learn more about these events and ways to show support for refugees.

For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at andrea.blackford@alexandriava.gov or 703.746.3959.

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This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/122876.

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