World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.

While the globe is facing the largest refugee crisis in history, the hope and dreams of resettled refugees are being lived out here in Alaska. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

5 Ways to Celebrate World Refugee Day

We welcome you to join us in celebrating World Refugee Day all week leading up to June 20, 2021. Download your copy of our flyer and learn more about how you can celebrate with us below.

  1. Donate to Grow Local, Give Local.
    • Funds raised will go toward purchasing food from refugee farmers at Grow North Farm, and the purchased produce will then be given to shoppers at St. Francis House Food Pantry.
  2. Contact your elected officials.
    • Send a letter to your federal elected official expressing your support for refugee resettlement in Alaska. Click here for a template letter to Lisa Murkowski, and here for a template letter to Dan Sullivan.
  3. Visit the Grow North Farm farmstand.
    • Located at 3601 Mountain View Drive, Grow North Farm is open Monday – Friday from 4 – 7 p.m. all summer.
  4. Volunteer to help new arrivals in Anchorage.
    • We need meals teams and move-in teams to help new arrivals feel welcome. Contact Nick Leone at nleone@cssalaska.org or 907-339-0488 ext. 1 to learn more.
  5. Attend one of our events.
    • Join us virtually or in person to listen to refugees share their experiences and what our community partners are doing to support resettlement.

Events to Celebrate World Refugee Day

This year, we are celebrating World Refugee Day with a variety of both virtual and in-person events.

Virtual RAIS Partner Conversation

When: Monday, June 14, noon – 1 p.m.

Where: Livestreamed on CSS Facebook

Hosted by: Issa Spatrisano, RAIS Program Director/State Refugee Coordinator

Guests: Anchorage Community Land Trust, Anchorage Museum, Providence Family Medical Center, and more

Join Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services as we highlight some of our partners in the community that are focused on refugee integration, increasing refugee self-sufficiency, and ensuring that their Alaskan welcome extends beyond the walls of Catholic Social Services. Hear our partner organizations describe how and why refugee integration is a part of their mission, as well as the specific programming they offer to support refugees.

Join us on Facebook

Virtual Refugee Voices Panel

When: Wednesday, June 16, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Where: Livestreamed on CSS Facebook

Hosted by: Mahdi Akal, Refugee Congress Delegate of Alaska

Join us to hear directly from refugees resettled to Alaska about their experience of making Alaska home. Former refugee arrivals from Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, and Russia will share their resettlement experience and provide insight into the journey a refugee takes towards safety here in the United States.

Join us on Facebook

Global Table Pop-Up (SOLD OUT)

When: Thursday, June 17, 4 – 7 p.m.

Where: Grow North Farm at 3601 Mountain View Drive

Cost: $30 per ticket

Come to Grow North Farm and celebrate World Refugee Day! Learn about some of the refugee populations in Alaska and fill your belly with a spread of signature dishes from Alaska’s refugee community. There will be stations set up from countries around the globe where you’ll stop to pick up your dish while also learning about the home countries of refugee arrivals.

Due to the structure of this event, we cannot accommodate vegetarian, gluten-free, and other dietary restrictions. We ask that you wear a mask whenever you’re not actively eating. 100% of ticket sales go to refugee entrepreneurs.