St. Paul, Minn. (June 15, 2018) — “Claiming Home: Refugee Poets for World Refugee Day” is a new event hosted by Os Ly and Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay.
Special remarks will be given by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. The event is being held from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, at the new Springboard for the Arts space at 262 University Ave. W. in St. Paul.
Refugee and “refugee-esque” writers will celebrate international World Refugee Day with poetry to honor their own experiences, their families, communities, and the millions of forcibly displaced and stateless people around the world. The hour will feature: Kevin Yang. Lula Saleh. June Kuoch, Denise Hạnh Huỳnh, Bryan Thao Worra, Ibrahim Kaba. May Lee-Yang, Sophea Ek, Narate Judie Keys, and Ifrah Mansour, whose work will explore and examine the diverse journeys of refugees in Minnesota. The event is possible in part thanks to sponsorship from Springboard for the Arts with support from the Asian Economic Development Association.
In 2001, June 20 was recognized as the first World Refugee Day. The UN General Assembly noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. Each year on June 20 the United Nations, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and countless civic groups around the world host World Refugee Day events in order to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees and Internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.