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May 13, 2024

Photo Gallery: Refugee leaders and advocates gather on Capitol Hill to advocate and take action on behalf of forcibly displaced people

Refugee leaders and advocates from all over the United States gathered in Washington D.C. last week for Refugee Council USA’s annual Advocacy Days. The three-day event featured sessions and workshops designed to help participants better utilize their experiences and the power of storytelling to bring about positive change. 

Participants also had the opportunity to meet with Congressional leaders and advocate for legislation and policies in support of immigrants, refugees, asylees and others who have been forcibly displaced and are seeking safety in the United States.

We spoke to individuals from several participating organizations who shared what they hope to achieve during their time on the Hill. Here's what they had to say.

We spoke to individuals from several participating organizations who shared what they hope to achieve during their time on the Hill. Here's what they had to say.

Maryam Ahmed, Church World Services Harrisonburg:

“I want to give a voice to a collective community and not just a voice to myself.”

Rwamucyo Karekezi, Church World Service Lancaster:

"I'm very happy to bring the community leaders I have been working with [to D.C.] so that they can advocate for themselves and their community. I want the experience for my community leaders to meet elected officials and to know their rights…  and to share with elected officials the concerns they have and what the refugee and immigrant communities are facing."

Lucky Karim, Rohingya Refugee Advocate: 

"The main goal is to be connected to one another and learn from each other's story. All of us have similar stories, backgrounds, experiences and challenges. [During Advocacy Days} we will be able to meet with members of Congress, the State Department, and U.S. policymakers and figure out who the key audience is for us to deliver our messages."

Sabrina Abdulla, Virginia Immigrant Voices:

"We really want to make advocacy more accessible to marginalized communities who don't believe that it's accessible to them. There are a lot of disparities and barriers. I would also like to bring direct and immediate attention to many of the issues that everybody's facing in all of the respective countries and communities."

How you can help… 

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of refugees in the United States and around the world. Please visit our "Take Action" page to learn how you can become a part of USA for UNHCR's community of compassionate advocates. By raising awareness and advocating for refugee rights, we ensure they are welcomed into new communities and provided with the resources and protection they need to thrive and rebuild.

SPOTLIGHT: This World Refugee Day, meet Lucky, a brave Rohingya refugee making an incredible impact! READ →