UN Refugee Agency Events Fundraisers USA United States


Millions of people are refugees, and millions more are touched by the refugee cause. 

USA for UNHCR hosts regular events so that those interested in The UN Refugee Agency's lifesaving work can learn from those in the field and gain unique insight into humanitarian crises.



Upcoming Events:

Subscribe to our Insider Update eNewsletter for invitations to upcoming events and conference calls, and visit our Volunteer and Community Fundraising section to learn more about planning your own.


Past Events: 2013 


World Refugee Day Events

Join UNHCR on World Refugee Day for live events at the Kennedy Center and Eighteenth Stree Lounge.


Join UNHCR and the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage for a special musical performance in recognition of World Refugee Day.

Featuring: Grammy®-nominated Cheick Hamala Diabate, world-renowned Malian master of the ngoni, Youssouf Keita, a.k.a. “Supernova”, Malian rapper and rising star from The X Factor, Diamond White.

Khaled Hosseini, UNHCR Goodwill Envoy, will open the evenings performance. Following the performance Khaled’s new book, And The Mountains Echoed, will be on sale and Mr. Hosseini will stay for a brief book signing.

Where: The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Grand Foyer

Free and open to the public. Seating is first come first served.


Music by Cheick Hamala Diabate and featuring Khaled Hosseini and other special guests.

Time: 8:30 - 9:30 pm Cocktails and Concert at 9:30 pm

Where: Eighteenth Street Lounge, 1212 18th Street NW, Washington, DC

Purchase tickets here

For more information, please visit UNHCR World Refugee Day Events, June 20, 2013

All proceeds will be donated to USA for UNHCR.


Join us for a #SyriaCrisis Tweetathon, March 15th from 9 am to 9 pm!

The crisis in Syria passes the two-year mark in March with no end to the conflict in sight. Meanwhile the number of people in need grows as over1 million refugeeshave fled to neighboring countries while about 2 million people are displaced within Syria. And as fighting persists, the death toll continues to rise, topping 70,000 killed in early March.

On Friday, March 15th, social media activists are taking over Twitter to tell their friends about the crisis in Syria, raising awareness for refugees and urging people to take action.

Members ofInterAction– the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) – will be leading the charge with#SyriaCrisis tweets from 9 am to 9 pm on Friday.

Together, the humanitarian organizations responding to the emergency in Syria want to encourage as many people as possible to join in our tweetathon so that we may remind the world that we have not forgotten – and will not ignore – the growing crisis in Syria.


Citizens of Nowhere: Solutions for Statelessness in the U.S.

Join the Open Society Justice Initiative and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for an expert panel discussion on the plight of stateless individuals in the United States as outlined in UNHCR's trailblazing report "Citizens of Nowhere: Solutions for Stateless in the U.S."

Date: Monday, February 25th
Time: 12:00 - 2:00 pm (Lunch will be served)
Location: NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, 20 Cooper Square, 7th Floor, New York, New York 10003

Space is limited! Please RSVP to Patric Molitoris at as soon as possible to ensure your attendance.


 Peace in Mali Concert

Monday, February 4, 2013, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Location: Mead Center for American Theater, 1101 6th St SW, Washington, DC 20024

Due to escalating events in Mali, Malian musicians Supernova King and Master Griot Cheick Hamala Diabate with Cameroonian singer Taka Tanni and Finckya of the Congo will take the stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.

H.E. Al Maamoun Keita, ambassador to the U.S. from the Republic of Mali, will address attendees to give the most up-to-date information on the crisis in Mali and the region.


What's Next for Syria: Humanitarian and Political Perspectives                                   

Monday, January 14, 2013, 2:00 - 3:30 pm

On January 14, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings will host a discussion to examine the current humanitarian and political situation inside Syria and its implications for the future.

To learn more, please visit What's Next for Syria: Humanitarian and Political Perspectives


Past Events: 2012 


Report Launch: "Citizens of Nowhere: Solutions for the Stateless in the U.S."

Monday, December 10, 2012, 12:00 - 2:00 pm

To learn more, please visit UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Open Society Justice Initiative


Are You Thinking of Working for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Have you ever wanted to work with refugees in an international context? Thought about what it was like to work with the High Commissioner for Refugees? Wondered about what life is like in the field?

Our Career Events offer you an opportunity to meet and speak with international personnel who can provide valuable advice while sharing their experiences.


We invite you to come learn about the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, some of the recruitment opportunities with the organization, and what to expect from life in the field - by spending an evening with a former UNHCR employee and experienced refugee rights advocate, Livia Rurarz-Huygens.



Hike to Help Refugees

September 8 - 14, 2012

 Hike to Help Refugees, an all volunteer, non-profit Iowa 501(c)(3) organization, has been educating communities about and raising funds for USA for UNHCR since 2002.

The 10th annual Hike to Help Refugees began on Saturday, September 8 at the Wabash Trace Tailhead in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

To learn more, please visit: Hike to Help Refugees

World Refugee Day was Wednesday, June 20th, 2012.

Every year, people across the United States use World Refugee Day as a focus for raising awareness and funds in their own communities to gather support for UNHCR’s urgent work. And at the same time, they spread understanding about the reality of being a refugee.

There will be many ways for anyone to get involved View all upcoming celebrations on our World Refugee Day Events page.

If you are planning an event and would like it listed on our World Refugee Day events page, or would like to host a fundraiser for refugees, please contact us at info (at) usaforunhcr(dot) org or fill out this form

Please visit our World Refugee Day site for more information, or subscribe to our free Insider Update eNewsletter to receive notifications and invites for future events.

University of Nebraska-Omaha's Global Youth Service Day featuring
Hike to Help Refugees:

Friday, April 20th 2012

Global Youth Service Day is the largest youth service day and engagement project around the world; over 100 countries participate! Global Youth Service Day brings UNO students, K-12 students, and members of the Omaha community together with local nonprofit partners to serve and learn throughout the day.

Students and community members will have the opportunity to participate in service activities and learn about conservation, preservation, homelessness, recycling, beautification, and some of our world's most critical issues, while participating in a hike for refugees on Turning Point's campus in conjunction with Hike to Help Refugees.


Past Events: 2011

60 Years of UNHCR Gala

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
The Plaza, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York, NY


  • Juju Chang, ABC News Correspondent, Nightline
  • Farooque Kathwari, Chairman, President, and CEO, Ethan Allan Interiors, Inc.
  • Jack Leslie, Chairman, Weber Shandwick


BlueKey DC TweetUp 2

Thursday, November 10th at 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Ceiba Restaurant: 701 14th St NW, Washington DC

Blue Key supporters will gather once again at an informal get-together to celebrate the refugee spirit! Along with some of our Blue Key Champions,  attendees will receiv their own Blue Key to show their support for refugees and meet with several of USA for UNHCR’s staff to learn firsthand how they support UNHCR’s work.

RSVP Today! 


BlueKey DC TweetUp

Thursday, September 15th
Ceiba: 701 14th St NW, Washington DC

Blue Key supporters gathered at an informal get-together to celebrate the refugee spirit! Along with some of our Blue Key Champions,  attendees received their own Blue Key to show their support for refugees and met with several of USA for UNHCR’s staff to learn firsthand how they support UNHCR’s work.


DC Dream Roof

Saturday, September 10th
The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel
415 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington DC

As a celebration of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington and her birthday, Amyia McCarthy and Burrrr Entertainment hosted DC Dream Roof: An MLK Memorial fundraiser on Saturday, September 10th at the Liaison Rooftop Pool in Washington, DC.  Proceeds benefitted the MLK Memorial Fund and USA for UNHCR.


Western Union Honors the UN Refugee Agency

Monday, August 29th, 2011
Denver University Law School Forum
2255 East Evans Avenue, Denver, Colorado

Mr. Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO of Western Union, hosted a reception in honor of the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR. Guest speaker Mr. Buti Kale, Deputy Regional Director for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, addressed why and if 2011 is an exceptional year for displacement.  UNHCR has dealt with four major displacements in the past 12 months (Pakistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya and Somalia.) What has changed in the world that makes the need for such a degree of preparedness the norm rather than the unusual?


Refugee Congress

August 3 - 4 in Washington, DC

This historic event will brought together 60 refugees and asylees from across the United States to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Convention on Refugees.  The event featured one refugee from each of the 50 states and ten notable refugees, including supermodel Alek Wek, Holocaust survivor Charlene Schiff, a Cuban exile, an Iraqi refugee, and several Somali refugees.

Participants reflected on the long history and broad diversity of persons who have found refuge in the U.S. over the past six decades. Refugees representing each state joined other notable refugees in a conference to discuss their experiences and share their views on how to address issues of most concern to refugees. 


World Refugee Day Luncheon 2011 in Washington, DC

June 20th, 2011

World Refugee Day is observed on June 20th each year. This global event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

Every year, people across the United States use World Refugee Day as a focus for raising awareness and funds in their own communities to gather support for UNHCR’s urgent work. And at the same time they spread a little understanding about the reality of being a refugee.

On June 20th, supporters of UNHCR and the refugee cause from across the country gathered for our World Refugee Day luncheon at Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.

We are proud to welcome author, editor, and journalist Seymour Hersh as our keynote speaker. We will also be honoring young supporters who have shown great initiative and compassion in raising funds at their universities during the 2010 Pakistan Flood emergency.

World Refugee Day at the Kennedy Center 

Come celebrate 60 years of protection with a free concert at the Kennedy Center on the Millennium Stage featuring Sweet Rush and a photo exhibit displayed in the Hall of Nations entitled: Nowhere People: The World’s Stateless.

Born in Mogadishu, Somalia and currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, the eclectic R&B duo Sweet Rush—sisters Siham and Iman Hashi—has landed a record deal with Universal Motown.

  • Monday, June 20th
  • Time: 6:00 - 7:00 PM
  • Location: The Kennedy Center, 2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566

World Refugee Day at the W Hotel: Blue Key: Miami to DC 

Join Washington movers and shakers in support of the UN Refugee Agency as we transform the terrace of the W Hotel into an ultrachic Miami lounge. Dance the night away in POV, converted for the night into the hottest club in DC featuring Miami’s own top DJs.

  • Wednesday, June 22nd
  • Time: 9:00 PM - 2:00 AM
  • Location: POV at the W Hotel, 515 15th St NW, Washington DC

World Refugee Day, New York, NY

World Refugee Day at the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building was be lit up in UN Blue to commemorate World Refugee Day on June 20th, 2011.


World Refugee Day, California

World Refugee Day in Santa Monica

Experience the life of a refugee! We'll have a mock refugee tent, interactive activities and role play for kids, guest speakers, raffle prizes, a photo gallery and more.

  • Monday, June 20th
  • Time: 12:00-3:00 pm
  • Location: Chrstine Emerson Reed Park: 1133 7th Street Santa Monica, CA 90403

World Refugee Day in West Hollywood 

USA for UNHCR is hosting an evening in honor of 43 million refugees around the world. This year's World Refugee Day will feature a briefing from USA for UNHCR as well as a Cambodian and an Ethiopian refugee who will share their inspiring story with us. 

  • Monday, June 20th
  • Time: 6:30 - 9:30 pm
  • Location: Xai Verandah Lounge, 7677 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046 Phone: (323) 969-0090 

World Refugee Day in San Francisco:

The World Affairs Council of Northern California hosts The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns author Khaled Hosseini, UNHCR Representative Vincent Cochetel, and Ambassador David Robinson to bring attention to the plight of millions of refugees and forcibly displaced who live in grave conditions around the world, and honor their courage and resilience.

  • Thursday, June 16th, 2011
  • Location: The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel, 950 Mason Street San Francisco, California 94129
Past Events: 2010

Citizens Band puts on a sold out show in New York City

December 18th, 2010
New York, NY

USA for UNHCR was thrilled to be a part of Citizens Band's newest theatrical production on December 18th.  The Highline Ballroom graciously hosted Citizens Band and USA for UNHCR for “The Past is a Foreign Country” – a show tackling the topic of displaced people and refugee support.  The show highlighted our new Blue Key Campaign.

This original production was presented as a partnership with USA for UNHCR and proceeds benefited the organization.