Chicago, IL – This World Refugee Day, June 20th, Heartland Alliance will join with the global community to call attention to the needs of refugees. Some 59.5 million people live as refugees and internally displaced people around the world, forced to choose between safety and their family and the comforts of home. Of those, 51 percent are children under the age of 18.

To raise awareness of World Refugee Day and the services offered to refugee and immigrant communities, Heartland Alliance and Chicago’s World Refugee Day Organizing Committee will host two events:

  • On Saturday, June 4th from 10:30am – 3pm there will be activities at Foster Beach – 5200 N Lake Shore Dr. Join us for a “One Human Family” rally and march. Elected officials and refugee community leaders will be speaking together on important refugee policy and advocacy issues. We will then march a mile into the community to remind one another that refugees are welcome in Chicago and the United States. In addition, join us at the lakefront’s for the annual soccer tournament, potluck, music and entertainment from around the world, children’s activities, and resource booths where you can learn more about the organizations that work with refugees each day in Chicago. It is a day for refugees past and present, their advocates, their neighbors and friends, to join as a single community.
  • On Thursday, June 16th from 12pm – 1pm, a lunchtime concert at Daley Plaza will showcase the spirit of collaboration among refugee communities, feature refugee art exhibits and displays, expand public awareness of organizations representing and serving refugees and asylees, and give a voice to the lived refugee experience.

World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength, and determination of women, men, and children who are forced to flee their homes under the threat of persecution, conflict, or other forms of violence. Heartland Alliance supports and celebrates refugees.

Since 2002, Chicago has commemorated World Refugee Day by organizing events that honor the lives of refugees, give a voice to their stories, and raise awareness of the millions of refugees in the world who have been forced to flee their homes. These events have included workshops, conferences, lunches, street parades, downtown rallies, guest speakers, as well as diverse multi-cultural performances by members of the Chicago refugee community. World Refugee Day Chicago is organized by staff, volunteers, and interested persons from various organizations focused on welcoming and serving refugees.

About Heartland Alliance

Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, works in communities in the U.S. and abroad to serve those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. It provides a comprehensive array of services in the areas of health, housing, jobs and justice – and leads state and national policy efforts, which target lasting change for individuals and society. For more information, visit www.heartlandalliance.org – END –