The City of Alexandria supports World Refugee Day and is encouraging residents and businesses to show their solidarity with refugees on World Refugee Day, June 20. The community can participate in global and local campaigns to show support for 25 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. Alexandria supports World Refugee Day by asking residents to support both local and international refugees as they make new homes for themselves.
This year, residents have the opportunity to participate in local and global campaigns to show their support. City partner Catholic Charities of Arlington is spearheading #StrideWithRefugees, a campaign to show solidarity with local refugees and draw awareness to how far refugees walk to access basic necessities in a refugee camp. The global UNHCR #StepWithRefugees challenge encourages participants to add their steps to a worldwide count and nominate others to participate. Both campaigns encourage participants to take photos of their activities and post them on social media to increase awareness and show solidarity.
Learn more about these campaigns, how to participate, and other ways to support refugees at alexandriava.gov/115625.