Refugee Council USA (RCUSA), its members, and our partners convene to host a special refugee virtual advocacy week from Monday, May 9 to Friday, May 13, 2022. The Biden administration inherited a refugee resettlement program decimated by the previous administration. They have since promised to rebuild, strengthen, and expand refugee resettlement. One year in, we must continue to work with the administration and Congress, holding them accountable for the rebuilding of the United States’ humanitarian protection systems.
Our virtual advocacy week will occur at a pivotal moment for the US refugee resettlement program and we need your help in championing pro-refugee legislation, support for arriving Afghans, federal funding for the resettlement and other humanitarian programs, and oversight over the administration’s rebuilding of the program.
We are looking for US-residents from across the country who want to use their voice to advocate with and for refugees, asylees, asylum seekers, stateless people, and all other forcibly displaced persons.
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.
Basic US Government 101 (April 7th, 7 pm ET)
Basic US government 101 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 Storytelling and Messaging (April 14th, 7 pm ET)
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 Workshop (April 22nd , 7 pm ET)
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.
How-to Engage Elected Officials and Best Advocacy Practices (April 28th, 7 pm ET)
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.
How to Host Your Own Local Advocacy Event (May 19th, 7 pm ET)
Now that you have participated in RCUSA Advocacy Days, you will have the opportunity to learn to take action by organizing your own local and state advocacy event. Advocacy days have a significant purpose, to educate our lawmakers on refugee and immigrant issues and advocate for pro-refugee and immigrant policies impacting our communities. In this workshop, you will learn how to organize legislative visits, prepare speakers and testimonies, and best practices on how to use your networks and resources to organize successful local and state advocacy days.