WeHo City to Host World Refugee Day Panel Discussion

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Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The City of West Hollywood and HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) will present a free virtual World Refugee Day panel discussion : Welcome for All: Supporting LGBTQ Refugees at Home and Abroad. The virtual panel discussion will be hosted on the Zoom platform at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Advance registration is requested by following the Zoom link here.

In recognition of World Refugee Day, HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) and the City of West Hollywood will discuss the unique needs and vulnerabilities of the refugee population and how to advocate for their human rights and provide lifesaving support. Join the panel discussion and learn how to work to help LGBTQ refugees and asylum-seekers, both around the globe, and right here at home.

Panelists will include: Joe Goldman, Community Engagement Director, Western Region at HIAS; Rachel Levitan, Vice President of International Programs at HIAS; Andy Ruiz, Coalition Staff Attorney at The TransLatin@ Coalition; and City of West Hollywood Councilmember Sepi Shyne. The panel discussion will be moderated by City of West Hollywood Councilmember John M. Erickson.

“According to the UN, every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John M. Erickson. “West Hollywood has always served as a beacon to those looking to find home regardless of their race, religion, sexuality, gender identity, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. On World Refugee Day, we’re reminded of the role we still very much play on the world stage and the oath we all take to ensure that no matter what, West Hollywood is always home to those seeking refuge.”

“As a refugee to our beautiful country from a war torn country, I know first-hand the struggles that refugees face starting over and the importance of access to services, education and equity,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember Sepi Shyne. “Refugees have contributed so much to the fabric of our nation in all areas. World Refugee Day is an important day each year to learn about and support refugees. Our World Refugee Day Panel, in collaboration with HIAS is an opportunity for community members to learn more about the experiences of refugees and I am looking forward to taking part in it, sharing more of my story, and listening and learning from the other panelists.”

HIAS is a nonprofit organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum-seekers around the world and advocates for their fundamental rights so they can rebuild their lives. HIAS works to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities.

For more information, please contact City of West Hollywood’s Community & Legislative Affairs Supervisor Andi Lovano at (323) 848-6333 or at alovano@weho.org.

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