Refugee Council USA (RCUSA), its members, and our partners convene to host a special refugee virtual advocacy week from Monday, April 19 to Friday, April 23, 2021. This virtual week of action and training comes at an important point for the refugee resettlement program. After four years of orders and policy that sought to dismantle the program, we now have the opportunity to rebuild stronger than ever – but we need your help. This week, we ask our community members to join us in championing pro-refugee legislation, and the funding and oversight to make it happen.
We are looking for residents of key states and cities whose representatives can make a big difference in rebuilding the refugee resettlement program, including: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
You can be a seasoned advocate, or hoping to get involved for the first time! RCUSA will be providing a series of trainings, discussions, and materials so each participant feels confident. RCUSA will handle setting up meetings, participants just need to bring their passion and personal stories.
One of the main goals for Refugee Advocacy Days is providing our refugee participants the chance to connect with other advocates and community members across the country and build power. RCUSA has partnered with Opportunity for All, We Are All America, and Refugee Congress, to host a series of workshops by refugees, for refugees.
US Systems of Government 101
The US Systems of Government workshop will review how power is wielded in grounding people with their own experiences of government in their countries of origin, how the government in the US is structured, and the impact of advocacy and civic engagement among refugee and immigrant communities.
Effective Refugee Story-Telling
The Effective Refugee Story-Telling Workshop will cover topics on the power of storytelling and provide tools and resources on how to be an effective storyteller. This workshop will prepare participants to share their stories effectively in different platforms and for different audiences, including public figures and elected officials. In addition, this workshop will provide tools on digital storytelling, media engagement, such as, writing Op-EDs, and how to shift the refugee and immigrant narrative.
Organizing 101 & Leadership Development
The Organizing 101 & Leadership Development Workshop will cover the basics of community organizing, ways of being an effective leader in your community, advocating for specific social justice causes, how power dynamics plays a role, the act of community service (models of social change), and power dynamics. This workshop is designed for participants who are interested in learning on how to organize and lead their own communities.
Best practices: Preparing to Meet with Elected Officials
This workshop is designed to provide participants insight into best practices when meeting with elected officials. Participants will get to hear directly from Congressional staff members on how to best engage with elected officials, effective strategies in advocacy asks, and resources around constituent services.