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Panhandle Refugee Celebration (2020)

Every June 20th, the United Nations and countless civic groups around the world host World Refugee Day events in order to draw the public's attention to the millions of refugees worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution. Around the world, over 70 million people have no place to call home.

Since 2010, over 4,000 refugees have been resettled in Amarillo (and over 7,000 since 2007)—making this city one of the highest concentrations of resettlement in Texas. Each summer, we celebrate and honor these men and women at our local World Refugee Day celebration. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we opted to replace this year's event with an hour-long video tribute!

In collaboration with over 15 local organizations, we bring to you the Panhandle Refugee Celebration. The event featured messages from our mayor, chief of police, resettlement agency directors, and other local partners. It also included pieces from the Amarillo Symphony and the choir at Emmanuel Revival Church as well as a special series of interviews we were honored to conduct with four different refugee leaders here in our city.

Tune in to hear Omar tell about the Somali entrepreneurial spirit, and Par describe what it’s like to be a Chin youth who serves as a bridge for her parents. You’ll be encouraged to learn from Diana how she overcame a brutal past in South Sudan to thrive here in Amarillo, and marvel at the heart of Thepha, a Thai pastor who serves Karen refugees.

Now, this hour long special is available right here! The virtual special includes just a few minutes from each interview, so the full-length interviews are provided here as well. Learn and enjoy!

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