What is World Refugee Day about?
June 20th is World Refugee Day. In celebration of the world’s bravest travelers, we wanted to unpack the importance of this day through still portraits of refugees in our community. Along with the Minneapolis non-profit Dream Refugee, we asked each person to share written statement detailing their encounters with discrimination. In sharing these portraits, we also wanted to provide some answers to commonly asked questions surrounding Refugees.
What exactly is a refugee? What does that mean today?
“Being a Refugee is someone who flees from war, persecution or natural disasters forcefully.” - Mohamed Malim, Founder of Dream Refugee, explains. "World refugee Day is a celebration of all the refugees around the word, the success and contributions they made in the world. We are honoring them."
What is the current state of refugees in 2018?
There are approximately 68 million refugees in the world today. Let that sink in. 68 million. Of this large number, over half are under the age of 18. In a 2016 article from NPR they stated, “each minute, 24 people around the world flee their home because of violence or persecution. And if the world's displaced people were their own nation, it would be larger than the United Kingdom.” This is the reality.
A big misconception? Refugees choose to come to America.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, most refugees did not have a choice in their relocation to America.
In the creation of this project, we heard repeatedly that along with these refugees journey, comes unfortunate stigma and baseless assumptions. Our eyes were opened to the harsh reality that refugees encounter each and every day in America. Today, we celebrate these individuals and the richness they contribute to our country.
“There is no “Us”, there is no “Them”, Only All of Us."
In celebration of the bravest travelers of all, we are doubling our give to The IRC until June 27th. Every purchase, every bag, all goes to those who are struggling to find safety and refuge. You can cary our bags knowing you are helping cary the load of the 68 million refugees around the world.
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