World Refugee Day photography exhibit features refugee stories from Episcopal Migration Ministries
The Episcopal Church and Episcopal Migration Ministries are among the sponsors of a June 22 photography exhibit in observance of World Refugee Day 2011.
The exhibit, A Celebration of Service, features moving photographs of refugees who have resettled to the U.S. alongside the doctors, faith leaders, lawyers, business owners, farmers, case workers, teachers, and many others who welcome refugees into their communities. The exhibit will be held 9 am to 4 pm at the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer in Washington DC.
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) is one of ten faith-based and community agencies nationally that assist refugees to resettle in the U.S. through a public-private partnership with the federal government, specifically the Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. EMM currently partners with 27 dioceses of the Episcopal Church to assist refugees in the resettlement process.
The exhibit was fashioned to honor the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees, which was created in 1951.
In marking World Refugee Day 2011 and the 60th anniversary of the refugee convention, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori calls for a recommitment to the U.S. resettlement program and “to work toward safety for those fleeing persecution and violence.” (Full text of the Presiding Bishop’s statement here: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/newsline_128665_ENG_HTM.htm)
In the exhibit
Resettlement agencies across the country submitted photographs for consideration in the exhibit. Among the photos selected are three form EMMâs local affiliate partners:
Agency for New Americans in Boise, ID, depicting the Global Gardens program which helps refugee farmers bring their produce to the Boise Saturday Market, growing crops that are both familiar and unfamiliar to Boiseans to expand their culinary tastes.
Minnesota Council of Churches (an affiliate of Church World Service and EMM) in Minneapolis, MN, focusing on community garden plots which give residents access to healthy low cost food, helping refugee families from Burma, Nigeria and Bhutan.
Lutheran Social Services of Michigan (an affiliate of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and EMM) of Detroit, MI, showing a landlord who has provided refugees with reduced rents and waived security deposits in order to make it easier for them to quickly move in.
EMM assists thousands of refugees annually, working together with faith groups and volunteers to help these newcomers find work and adjust to life in their community. As such, EMM has welcomed to the U.S. refugees from throughout the globe - Southeast Asia, former Eastern Bloc countries and the Soviet Union, Cuba, Liberia, Sudan, Rwanda and Sierra Leone, Bosnia and Kosovo, Afghanistan, and more recently from Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Bhutan, Burma, and Iraq.
With a network of 35 affiliate offices located in 27 dioceses, EMM relies greatly on the support of churches to welcome refugees to the U.S. Additionally, dioceses, parishes and individuals often provide urgent assistance with funding and housing.
There are many stories of recent refugees becoming active, contributing members of their communities. View videos and learn more here: http://episcopalchurch.org/109406_ENG_HTM.htm.
The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org