Salt Lake City

Mayor Biskupski to honor Salt Lake City’s refugee community leaders

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski on Thursday will recognize and honor the contributions of the City’s refugee community at the Refugee Community Leaders Luncheon as part of the worldwide observance of World Refugee Day.

The 2nd annual event begins at noon Thursday at the Sorenson Unity Center, black box theatre 1383 South 900 West, in Salt Lake City. The event includes an awards ceremony recognizing the work of the following refugee leaders:

  • Omar Osman – Refugee Community Leader
  • Samaritan Technologies – Organization Advocacy Award
  • MG Draper – Volunteer Service Award
  • Desange Kuenihira – Emerging Youth Leader

More than 60,000 refugees have resettled in Utah since 2009. The majority have made their home in Salt Lake City, bringing a diversity of cultures and immeasurable value to the city, Mayor Biskupski said.

“Salt Lake City’s very foundation is built on the tradition of welcoming those who have fled persecution, war and other atrocities in their native homes,” Mayor Biskupski said.  “As our national leaders move to close this country’s door to those in need, Salt Lake City stands firm in its commitment to greet everyone with open arms.”

According to the United Nations, every minute 20 people flee their native countries to escape persecution, terror and war.

In December 2004, the UN’s General Assembly established World Refugee Day to celebrate the resilience of refugees around the world and to raise awareness of the challenges faced by displaced persons.

For 2019, the United Nations has adopted #StepWithRefugees as its theme for the World Refugee Day observance.  The phrase challenges every community and every person to ask what steps — large or small — can be taken to stand in solidarity with refugees and support their journey to a better life.

“I encourage all of to ask what we can do to ‘step’ with our refugee community and support their new life Salt Lake City,” Mayor Biskupski said. “There is no greater gift than helping one’s neighbor. In doing so, we lift not only each other, but the entire city.”

Who:          Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Refugee Community Leaders

What:         World Refugee Leaders Day Luncheon

When:        Thursday, June 20, 2019. – noon to 1:30 p.m.

Where:       Sorenson Unity Center

                   1383 South 900 West, Salt Lake City

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