ORR 2012 National Consultation
The 2012 ORR National Consultation welcomed a record number of attendees this year as refugee service providers, partner agencies, and honored guests gathered to share their personal stories and best practices. The Consultation kicked off with the presentation of the colors by Northwest DC’s Woodrow Wilson High School Color Guard, as ACF’s own Miya Cain sang the National Anthem.
ORR Director Eskinder Negash welcomed a diverse and high-level roster of speakers, beginning with HHS Deputy Secretary Bill Corr, who acknowledged the important contribution to America that the ORR network and the refugee community make. He noted, “At the moment when refugees may find themselves most lost, adrift, or vulnerable, you provide security, stability, and hope for a better tomorrow, and together with the people you serve, you make this country a stronger, more diverse and vibrant place.”
They were joined by Assistant Secretary Anne Richard from PRM/State; Senior Policy Advisor for Immigration, Felicia Escobar of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Dr. Gabriela Lemus, Special Advisor to the Secretary of Labor, and Olympic athlete and former refugee from South Sudan, Guor Marial. Introducing Guor Marial, Eskinder Negash spoke for everyone in the room when he said, “We are honored to have him with us this year—not only for his remarkable accomplishments in athletics and his personal education, but also for the strength of character he exhibited when he declined to compete in the Olympics under the Sudanese flag. With this gesture—and the chance he took of possibly being denied the opportunity to run as an Independent Olympic Athlete—Guor ran for all refugees, stateless, and displaced persons.”
Mr. Marial spoke to a rapt audience about his journey from South Sudan to the United States as a resettled refugee, and then to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, ending his remarks to a standing ovation and a steady stream of well-wishers and admirers.
Stay tuned to this space for more about the 2012 ORR National Consultation, and how you can help ORR transform hope into a brighter future for all refugees.
The Honorable Mayor Emmanuel Ransom of Clarkston, Georgia with ORR Director Eskinder Negash
Congolese refugee and invited speaker Freddy Nyembwe performs an original composition at the closing plenary
- Text of Anne Richard's address to the ORR Consultation
- Text of Guor Marial's keynote address to the ORR Consultation
- The White House, Domestic Policy Council - Providing a Sense of Home, Security, and Possibility for Refugees in the United States
- ACF Blog - After Years of Uncertainty, Hope and Brighter Future Provided to Refugee