The Dubuque Democratic Socialists are proud to be among the twenty area organizations sponsoring the World Refugee Day Rally in Dubuque tomorrow.
Worldwide, there are 21.3 million people who have been forced from their home countries, seeking safety and security – half of them under 18 years old. A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. Last year, the United States welcomed 85,000 refugees. June 20 has been set aside by the United Nations as a day to show public support for refugees.
Tuesday, June 20 from 5-6 pm in Washington Park a peaceful, non-partisan rally in support of refugees will be held – one of many such events around the globe honoring refugees and calling for solidarity and welcome.
“We declare ourselves welcoming communities in affirmation of our Catholic tradition that holds sacred the dignity of each person,” said Sister Joy Peterson, PBVM, who serves as the Promoter of Peace and Justice for the Sinsinawa Dominicans. “We invite other communities and people of faith to join us in becoming refugee welcoming communities through prayer, reflection, education and action.”
The event also reflects the commitment of the statement signed by Mayor Roy Buol on June 5, 2017 proclaiming the City of Dubuque to be “a city of welcome and opportunity” where residents stand “in solidarity with all people, especially those fleeing war, violence, and poverty.”
Speakers at the event include Sarah Gieseke, director of the Presentation Lantern Center who has worked overseas with refugees in the screening process, and Mary Ready, the Refugee Resettlement Supervisor of the Catholic Charities – Archdiocese of Dubuque. The rally will also include testimonies from a Sierra Leonean man who has fled violence in his home country and Hmong woman who was settled in Iowa as a small child in the 1980s.
In case of heavy rain or thunderstorms, the rally will be held indoors at the Dubuque Musuem of Art, directly across from Washington Park at 701 Locust Street.
The rally is sponsored by: Crossing Borders – Dubuque, Inclusive Dubuque, Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sisters of St Francis of Dubuque, Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sisters of the Visitation, Dominicans of Sinsinawa, Office of Respect Life and Social Justice for the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa United Nations Association, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Tri-State Islamic Center, Presentation Lantern Center, Dubuque Democratic Socialists, Dubuque Coalition for Nonviolence, Wartburg Theological Seminary, St Patrick Hispanic Ministry, Dubuque for Refugee Children, Dubuque International Day of Peace, Hope House, and St Isidore Catholic Worker Farm.
The Dubuque Democratic Socialists is the Dubuque Local of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a non-partisan activist organization dedicated to intersectional education, community organizing, and electoral work aimed at creating an economy that is truly by the people and for the people.