World Refugee Day 2020 is June 20th! This international observance honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
As partners on the 2016-18 IMLS-funded planning grant: Project Welcome: Libraries and Community Anchors Planning for Resettlement and Integration of Refugees and Asylum Seekers, the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and the American Library Association (ALA) invite libraries to commemorate World Refugee Day 2020.
|The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and the American Library Association commemorate World Refugee Day 2020, affirming:|
We are the United States*, welcoming people born here or afar.
We are neighbors, diverse cultures, connected in common humanity.
We are libraries**, welcoming all – people, ideas and knowledge.
We strengthen our communities from the most vulnerable to the most affluent.
|Note: We invite other organizations to use this statement, replacing the * with their own location, and the ** with their own organization type/name.|
To connect safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage virtual activities to support and celebrate refugees.
1. Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of 1980 Refugee Act (USA) https://www.archivesfoundation.org/documents/refugee-act-1980/ [facsimile]
- Libraries outside the United States – learn if your country has a similar act, and about the work of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
2. Learn about refugees, and ways to uphold and strengthen a nation’s commitment to welcome and protect those seeking freedom, safety and refuge.
- ALA’s World Refugee Day resources: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/world-refugee-day.
- School libraries – Janice Rodrigues in a resource posted to the National Library of New Zealand shares how to “Get your class to think, respond, and problem solve”.
- Libraries in the United States – explore the work of We are All America https://www.weareallusa.org/; utilize the World Refugee Day 2020: Celebrating, Protecting, and Standing in Solidarity with Refugees toolkit by Refugee Council USA. <pdf>
- Libraries outside the United States – locate your local refugee support organization and collaborate.
Host a Watch OR Listen Party
- Decide to host a watch OR a listen party.
- Select a video or podcast (see selected resources below).
- Invite the community to watch or listen individually OR together virtually, followed by a virtual conversation on a scheduled date and time.
- Use any virtual group communication platform, e.g., Facebook Watch Party feature, Facebook Rooms, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Zoom, etc.
What to Watch (below is freely available selected content)
- Oxfam. How does it feel to be a refugee? Hear their words.
- Aljazeera. World Refugee Day: Must-Watch Documentaries. June 20, 2019.
- Parater, Lauren (UNHCR). 7 videos guaranteed to change the way you see refugees. June 26, 2015.
- Refugee Week Australia, 2020
- Refugee Week UK, 2020
- Roch, Camille (Amnesty International). 7 free short films about refugees recommended by human rights educators. March 10, 2016.
- Taddonio, Patrice (PBS). Forced to Flee: 6 Documentaries to Watch to Understand the Global Refugee Crisis. June 19, 2019.
What to Listen to (below is freely available selected content)
Use #WithRefugees, #WorldRefugeeDay and Project Welcome hashtags: #projectwelcome, #librariesrespond, #libraries4refugees
Join us for a Webinar
Moderator: Clara M. Chu, Director, Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library
As librarians we have worked to create welcoming spaces and services for refugees. We have learned about them in order to support their resettlement and integration. The refugee stories we read about come from the communities we serve. How about the refugee stories that come from our own professional and academic community? In this webinar, we give voice to refugees who have become librarians or library educators. They will share their journey from persecution to resettlement to professional career, giving the listener a glimpse into their experiences of struggle, resilience, hope and belonging.
Co-sponsors: Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, ALA Office for Diversity, Literary and Outreach Services, ALA International Relations Office, ALA Services to Refugees, Immigrants, and Displaced Persons (SRIDP) Sub-Committee, and ALA International Relations Round Table.