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Social Justice

Eugene Community Celebrates World Refugee Day Tuesday

Rachael McDonald

The Trump Administration’s travel bans have put a damper on refugee resettlement efforts in the United States, despite the fact they’ve been successfully challenged in court. Still, advocates will celebrate World Refugee Day Tuesday in Eugene.

The United Nations says every minute 24 people worldwide leave everything behind to flee, war, persecution, or terror. The organization commemorates World Refugee Day every June 20th.
Tom Mulhern is Executive Director of Catholic Community Services of Lane County which helped bring a Syrian family and an Iranian woman here a little over a year ago. Mulhern says refugees now living in Lane County are learning English and adjusting to their new lives.
Mulhern: “And they’re all doing well. You know, they miss their families and relatives and the context of their lives that they were forced to flee. But those are really no longer available to them and so they know that they need to build a new life and they’re doing that. And what they’ve found here, I think, is a very positive and supportive and welcoming community.”
Mulhern says the Syrian family is trying to bring more relatives here but they’re waiting for final clearance.
World Refugee Day is at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene Tuesday evening from 5- 8:30 with music, food, and a keynote speech from U of O Associate Professor of international studies Dr. Kristen Yarris.

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