refugees

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The Onondaga County/ Syracuse Human Rights Commission honored International Human Rights Day with speakers at All Saints  Roman Catholic Church that reminded people of violence and discrimination faced by LGBTQ community members, those with disabilities, and people who've immigrated or resettled here from other countries.  Commission Executive Director Barrie Gewanter noted human rights day came out of the International Declaration of human rights adopted in 1948.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

The economic stability of Syracuse and other Rust Belt cities might very well hinge on refugees.  More than 400 people have spent the past two days at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown to attend the Welcoming Economies Convening, a coalition of public and business leaders dedicated to resettling refugees.  Co-Chair Steve Tobocman says that while refugee policy must have its roots in humanitarianism, we also shouldn’t ignore the refugee population’s economic contributions and potential.

Jon Shames / WAER News

Chants for freedom reverberated through the streets of downtown Syracuse Thursday as dozens of activists gathered to urge Congressmember John Katko to co-sponsor what they call a "Clean Dream Act." It’s part of a coordinated nationwide Dream Act Week of Action while Congress is in recess.  Gustavo Andrade is director of leadership development with United We Dream. 

Refugees Pleased That Long-Awaited Soccer Fields are Coming to Schiller Park

Oct 17, 2017
Leo Tully / WAER News

Residents of Syracuse’s Northside are about to get a soccer field, but they’ll have to wait until next spring.  The new fields were unveiled at Schiller Park Tuesday.  The space is large enough to hold two youth-sized or one regulation soccer field.  The sport has been gaining steam throughout the city, thanks to its popularity among the refugee community.  Mayor Stephanie Miner says she realized how important the game is to that community and that it was about time they had a field to play on. 

Neareast.org

A documentary about the Armenian Genocide – and the U-S reaction to it – could help with people’s reactions to refugee crises here and in other parts of the world.  The Near East Foundation will screen the film The Shall Not Perish about how America responded to help Armenians 100 years ago. 

(View Trailer Here)

facebook.com/believeinsyracuse

Dozens of vendors will be on hand Friday evening at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo showcasing cuisine and art from a number of continents.  The Arts and Culture Festival is an effort to bridge cultural gaps and promote the area’s diversity.

While the festival was planned long before the violence in Charlottesville, founder and executive director of Believe in Syracuse John DeSantis says the celebration comes at a perfect time.

Cornell Law website.

A Co-Director of Cornell Law School’s Asylum and Convention Against Torture Appellate Clinic feels there’s not much more the federal government can do to further screen or vet refugees and immigrants.  Professor and Acting Immigration Lawyer Steve Yale-Loehr says he understands the need to evaluate the screening process as a matter of National Security.  But he says the rules are already stringent for refugees to gain entry into the U.S.

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

  

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

Wael reflected on his journey home after the first mission trip he went on as an aid worker in a refugee camp. It was back in September, long before the camps were well established. It was chaos and despair. His flight home was from Greece to Germany, an ironic twist.

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

  

Nasreen was so excited that her journey was finally over! She remembers thinking it was the end of their troubles – they would soon be in Germany and reunited with her husband.

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