Since 2001, United Nations World Refugee Day has been celebrated every year on June 20 as part of World Refugee Week. The 2020 theme is Step with Refugees. The day and week are  dedicated to raising awareness of refugees throughout the world, international migrants, and forcibly displaced people. It is a time to commemorate their courage and resilience, to recognize their hardships, as well as to recognize the new lives they have created for themselves and the positive impact they have on our communities.

World Refugee Day is observed in over 100 countries. Celebrations involve government officials, humanitarian workers, celebrities and refugees. They include awareness activities such as panel discussions, festivals, special performances, documentaries and films. 

The reality of the situation is that every minute, 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution, or terror. Millions of individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of conflict, violence, or human rights violations. This year, the United States will resettle 30,000 refugees. 

Through the Refugees in America Assistance Program, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated partners with organizations engaged in support activities that assist refugees and their families to integrate into American life. This includes literacy classes, educational training, and other necessary transitional support. 

The sorority is aware that a large number of African refugees who have relocated to the United States over the past few years receive little to no support from African-American organizations.  These refugees have experienced traumatic displacement from their homes and countries, and have significant difficulties integrating into American life.

The goal of Alpha Kappa Alpha is to assist refugees of African and other descent to integrate into life in the United States while also increasing awareness of refugee issues and concerns.

As we observe World Refugee Week, we must not forget that America was founded by refugees and immigrants who came or were brought to this country to find a better life. This tradition continues today.

Even small communities like ours are affected. According to U.S. government statistics for Warren County,  3.3 percent of our neighbors are foreign born, of which 63.5 percent comes from Latin America, 12.8 per

cent from Asia, 21 percent from Europe, 0.9 percent from Africa, and 1.8 percent from other countries in North America. These refugees are mothers, daughters, fathers, sons. They are farmers, teachers, doctors, engineers, but, most of all, they are survivors. 

RHO TAU OMEGA CHAPTER, AKA

Kendra Davis, President

Magnolia Clanton, Chairman for Global Awareness Target