RST invites Amarillo to celebrate World Refugee Day at community event
Refugee Services of Texas (RST) Amarillo invites the community to celebrate World Refugee Day on Sunday at Trinity Fellowship Eastridge, located at 1706 Evergreen St., from 6-8 p.m.
“Refugees have come to Amarillo from all over the world, and they bring diverse culture and opportunities for our community. We use (World Refugee Day to celebrate their uniqueness and share the global contributions they have made to our region” said Russ Pennington, evangelism pastor at Trinity Fellowship.
World Refugee Day is an annual event that honors those who have fled their countries due to persecution, war and conflict, celebrating the beauty of the cultural traditions they bring with them to the United States.
The event will be organized by RST, a social service agency dedicated to the resettlement and provision of services to refugees and other displaced persons fleeing persecution based on race, religion, nationality, group membership particular social and/or political opinion. It will celebrate the welcoming community of Amarillo that refugees have relied on for years when resettling in a country so different from their homeland.
Since its founding in 1978, RST has successfully resettled more than 15,000 refugees, and RST Amarillo has granted asylum to approximately 3,000 refugees over the past 10 years.
“As part of the refugee resettlement, I would say 12 to 10 different groups came to Amarillo within our resettlement division, each a different group with different backgrounds and from different countries, speaking over 32 languages,” said Andrea Soliz, area manager for the RST Amarillo office.
The celebration is free and open to the public. It will include activities for children to participate in, as well as 12 community booths hosted by local organizations, such as the Amarillo Symphony, Amarillo Museum of Art, Don Harrington Discovery Center, Amarillo Police Department, of Amarillo, several churches in the area and many Suite.
The event will also feature live performances of cultural presentations including Karen Children’s Choir, Karen Bamboo Pole Dance and Don Dance, Chin Chin Children’s Choir, Somali Dance Group, Afghan Drums and more Again.
Mayor Ginger Nelson and Soliz will be among those speaking at the event.
“I think by celebrating World Refugee Day, we recognize their journey and all they had to go through to get here, and then their newfound freedom and self-reliance. It also allows us to show our support and offer resources from different agencies and organizations,” Soliz said.