World Refugee Day is celebrated all around the world on June 20th, annually. This year it falls on the same day as when Juneteenth is being observed here in Oregon. These two celebrations are pretty significant for me as a refugee from Laos. In addition to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Vietnam War/Secret War in Laos, the Black/African community leaders in the U.S. called upon Congress to allow refugees from SE Asia impacted by the Vietnam War/Secret War in Laos to enter the U.S. At a time when they were fighting for their own constitutional rights, they used their voice to advocate for people thousands of miles away in another country. Black Americans Urge Admission of the Indochinese Refugees
Senator Kayse Jama’s Office, City of Beaverton, Salem for Refugees, and the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement are coordinating three local 5k Walks in support of a national Run for Refugees Campaign through Hussein Al-Baiaty at RefuTees. We plan to have Senator Frederick, representatives from Juneteenth Oregon, NAACP, and our Tribal community provide a few words before the Walk. This will be an opportunity to honor, celebrate, and demonstrate the power of solidarity between the Black/African American community, the refugee community, and give gratitude and respect to our Tribal community, as guest on these sacred and stolen lands.
The Portland Walk is in the morning and the Walks in Beaverton and Salem are in the evening.