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For World Refugee Day, Adler University Immigrant Justice Association to host conversation focused on the well-being of refugees

Stories | 06.05.24

Today, more people have been forced to flee their homes than ever before. 

Photo from World Refugee DayAccording to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 108.4 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced at the end of 2022. However, global instability has only continued to rise from the crises in the Middle East, at the southern U.S. border, and the climate displacement occurring in East Africa. 

Yet, the influence of refugees on cultural diversity is immeasurable when they are welcomed into our communities. Refugees and displaced people around the world have reshaped traditions, policies, art, entertainment, and technology. 

In recognition of refugees’ contributions and empowering their success, the student-led Adler University Immigrant Justice Association and World Refugee Day Chicago invite students, staff, and faculty to attend its 2024 Pre-World Refugee Day Conversation. The event will be held at the Community Hall on the Chicago Campus from 10-11:30 a.m. CDT on June 18. Breakfast will be served. 

Discussions will be led by Patricia Perez, Ph.D., adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program. The event will explore the roles of psychology in promoting the well-being of refugees and immigrants and inspire others to take meaningful action by using psychological resources and tools to advocate and support communities on the move. 

The conversation is part of a series of events around Chicago in celebrating World Refugee Day — held annually on June 20.  

Following the Chicago Campus event, a rally will be held across the street at Daley Plaza at noon CDT. The event will feature speeches from elected officials, refugee rights advocates, and several musical performances.  

On Saturday, June 22, the Chicago community will continue celebrating World Refugee Day with activities, including soccer tournaments, music, dancing, and food at Foster Beach Park. The celebrations begin at 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. CDT. 

Since 2002, World Refugee Day Chicago has commemorated World Refugee Day by organizing events, workshops, conferences, lunches, street parades, downtown rallies, and diverse multicultural performances by members of the Chicago refugee community. 

“Being a refugee is not exclusive, and it’s not a choice,” said Moshood Olanrewaju, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program. “No matter where you are in the world, things can happen that are beyond anyone’s control. We all can become refugees in the blink of an eye.” 

Dr. Olanrewaju serves as the faculty advisor of the Adler University Immigrant Justice Association. He credits two of his students — Munnaza Siddiqui, president of the student-led association, and Farrah Beidas — for initiating and organizing the June 18 event. 

“Our hope is that those attending the various World Refugee Day events can better understand the refugee experience,” Dr. Olanrewaju said. “I hope attendees are inspired to find ways to support, advocate, and honor people who have been forced to flee. The contributions of refugees are worth celebrating.” 

Event details:
2024 Pre-World Refugee Day Conversation | Tuesday, June 18 | 10-11:30 a.m. CDT | Community Hall, Chicago Campus 

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