The Knoxville Mercury (TN): In Knoxville, World Refugee Day is so big it lasts a week

“Y’all means all” is the motto for Knoxville’s upcoming World Refugee Day and a week of films, games, and other opportunities to interact with local refugees. The festivities were planned by Bridge Refugee Services to celebrate the contributions of immigrants who fled persecution in foreign countries to resettle in Knoxville

The premier event is Saturday, when “new Americans” will join longtime Knoxville neighbors as well as special guest Jana Mason, senior advisor for external relations and government affairs from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, for international food, dancing, and children’s games. The free festival will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the 3839 Buffat Mill Road offices of Bridge, the only resettlement agency in East Tennessee.

Bridge helps refugees find homes and work, learn English, and become involved in the community. Bridge had been approved by the federal government and the U.N. to place 245 people during this fiscal year, including an expected surge of refugees from war-torn Syria. However, President Donald Trump has several times since January issued executive orders freezing the admittance of refugees until his administration could revamp the vetting process, especially from countries where Islamic extremism is considered prominent. Although these orders have repeatedly been struck down by the courts, the administration’s approach has dramatically slowed the processing of refugee arrivals, and Knoxville has seen no Syrians resettled here, says Bridge executive director Drocella Mugorewera .

Read the full article from The Knoxville Mercury (TN): In Knoxville, World Refugee Day is so big it lasts  a week

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