USCRI’s Raleigh, North Carolina office sponsored a potluck in late March, allowing many refugees to replace their troubles for a day with community, food and fun. The even was put on to celebrate diversity and welcome refugees from the seven mostly Muslim countries included in the proposed travel ban.
“When our clients were feeling nervous and anxious after ‘Travel Ban 1.0’ was signed, and they saw 1,500 people pour into the airport, holding signs saying ‘Refugees Welcome,’ they knew that somebody’s got their back,” said Raleigh Director, Scott Phillips.
The State Department’s Refugee Processing Center reports 3,342 refugees arrived in North Carolina in 2015-16. Roughly 27 percent were from the six travel ban nations. The largest group is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo – 28 percent of all refugees – followed by Syrians at 18 percent.
“It’s important that these people are given the opportunity to re-establish their lives where their families can live in safety,” Phillips said.
Events like this one allow these refugees to feel more welcome in uncertain times. Read more about the potluck here.