On Saturday June 15th Catholic Charities held our annual World Refugee Day Celebration. It was an afternoon filled with international cuisine, music, dancing and family-fun.
Over 100 clients, staff members, volunteers, allies, and advocates came together in community to celebrate and honor the immigrants and refugees in New Orleans and throughout the world.
Once bellies were full, participants were invited to share or perform something special from their culture on stage. We enjoyed an Honduran rap/singing performance from our immigrant youth leaders, Haitian song and dance, traditional American tunes from our friends at St. Joes, and some free style dancing on stage from the kids! We were joined by the New Orleans Mayors Office to share some closing words. In the spirit of language justice, the entire event was translated into Spanish, English, Haitian Creole, and Arabic!
The success of the event is in part due to an overwhelming display of support and solidarity from the community. Nearly a dozen restaurants donated food from all over the world, local institutions such as NOMA and Audubon Nature Institute donated tickets for our raffle, local artists Josh Vine and Monica Kelley donated their time taking photos and face painting, The Red Beans Mardi Gras Krewe sponsored catering from local Trinidadian chef Lisa Nelson, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church prepared and brought hundreds of hot dogs and empanadas, gift baskets for our raffle, and volunteered the day of the event.
In a time when the immigrant community hears messages of exclusion, this day felt all the more important. This celebration was about building community together-by just having fun with one another and letting loose, sharing our cultural heritage, building relationships, and celebrating diversity.
Learn more about our Immigration and Refugee Services here.