n June 18, Alliance for Multicultural Community Services and the Houston Refugee Consortium celebrated World Refugee Day at Houston Community College – Central Campus. This year’s event, titled Houston’s Refugee Voices, featured personal stories from 5 former refugees and helped illuminate the refugee experience in Houston throughout time. At the heart of the event was the belief that all forcibly displaced people must be allowed to live in safety and dignity because they contribute great things to society, both economically and socially.
“When the very real likelihood of death, and the promise of hardship if you should survive are better options than staying where you are, you know that there is human suffering” – Judy Le
Over 500 people attended the event, including Mayor Sylvester Turner, and State Representative Gene Wu who spoke in support of the refugee community Houston. Houston leads the nation in refugee resettlement, and welcomes approximately 2,500 refugees each year. In many ways, refugees have helped make Houston the beautiful, diverse and tolerant city it is today.
Since 2001, World Refugee Day has been celebrated internationally to honor the courage, resilience and determination of the millions of men, women, and children who were forced to flee their homes. World Refugee Day Houston is a collective effort, made possible by the Houston Refugee Consortium, the City of Houston, UNHCR and numerous community partners. Alliance was honored to be the Event Chair for World Refugee Day 2016.