World Refugee Day, Lewiston, ME
Every year on June 20th, World Refugee Day honors the courage and resiliency of the more than 15 million people worldwide displaced by war and persecution. This year, Lewiston and Auburn will recognize this important occasion by hosting a special World Refugee Day event at the Lewiston Public Library on Thursday, June 19th from 4-‐6:30pm.
Similar to “The Corner,” a popular storytelling series hosted once a month at She Doesn’t Like Guthrie’s in Lewiston, the event will feature ten Lewiston/Auburn residents sharing five-‐minute stories on the theme “refugee.” The tellers will include a diverse combination of refugees and American-‐born neighbors.
National Geographic photographer Amy Toensing will also attend the celebration and share images from her recent project documenting the lives of urban refugee children in Nairobi, Kenya where several refugees in Lewiston/Auburn lived prior to resettling to the United States. Her collection “In the Shadows: Urban Refugee Children in Africa” will be on display all summer at the Salt Institute in Portland, Maine beginning on June 16th. Tree Street Youth students are also contributing images of their lives in the Twin Cities.
Since 2000, Maine has resettled 2,283 refugees from 24 countries, including most recently Afghanistan, Burma, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. For the last 10 years the Cities of Lewiston and Portland have acknowledged World Refugee Day by hosting numerous events that celebrate how refugees enrich Maine with their skills, talents and new cultures.
The World Refugee Event is free and open to the public. Translators will be available for non-‐English speakers.
Hosted by: The World Refugee Day planning committee consist of Catholic Charities Maine, City of Lewiston, Coastal Enterprise Inc., RefugePoint, Maine Department of Health and Human Services Multicultural Affairs, Healthy Androscoggin, Somali Bantu Youth Association of Maine, Tree Street Youth, United Somali Women of Maine, Welcoming Maine, and members of the Djibouti Community.