The Chicago Chapter held a Peace Day program on September 17, 2018, that focused on refugee resettlement to commemorate the “International Day of Peace”. This year’s theme celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Ravesi Johnston, PPSEAWA’s Peace Ambassador, asked us to reflect on individuals, families and communities who had their human rights removed by government policy or discrimination, and subsequently are displaced.
The United States resettlement program is the largest in the world. Three PPSEAWA members shared their stories of displacement during World War II. Then we discussed the current work of the United Nations Refugee Agency (www.unhcr.org) and local volunteer work for refugee assistance. PPSEAWA USA has chapters in several other states that were in the top ten for refugee resettlement in 2018: New York (no. 2), California (no. 4), and Ohio (no. 9). Although they arrive with little or nothing, refugees are vital for our economic growth and contribute to American communities!