Sunday, June 22, 2008

World Refugee Day, June 20th

In 2000, the United Nations declared June 20th World Refugee Day. This year I had the chance to enjoy the Twin Cities celebration at Minnehaha Park with approximately 1,000 other residents, although for a city that has such a large mix of refugees from almost every continent, I wish there could have been a larger turnout for such a wonderful cause.

World Refugee Day is a celebration and a time to honor the world's nearly 10 million refugees.

In the Twin Cities, we celebrated with dancers, singers, bands, drummers, artisans, storytellers, speakers, and more.

There was great food for sale from local vendors and an Immigrant Resource Fair with information from over fifty different organizations on education, employment, housing, legal and immigration services, health and wellness.

For my part, I'm celebrating by recording a number of classic and newer poems for youtube and the usual places to recognize my own roots and continued ties within the refugee experience.

I hope you enjoy them, but more importantly, I encourage you all to take a moment in your own lives to consider the amazing impact refugees have on our community and how we might continue to make a difference in the lives of those still unable to call anyplace home.

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