Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Washington tucks into cultural feast on World Refugee Day

Washington tucks into cultural feast on World Refugee Day

The American capital is set to celebrate World Refugee Day on June 20 with three days of colourful multicultural performances, a poster contest, a play about refugee children, and multimedia exhibits by refugee youth.
18 June 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18 (UNHCR) - The American capital will come to life with unique sights and sounds from around the world as World Refugee Day unfolds on June 20 at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and the National Geographic Explorers Hall.

A Hmong rapper, together with Afghan, Kurdish, Tajik, Iranian, Azerbaijani, Egyptian, Georgian, Cambodian, Salvadoran, Sudanese, Laotian, Ethiopian, Senegalese and Malian dancers, singers and performers will display their talents in three days of free performances for the public. Many of the performers are themselves young refugees, highlighting the event's theme of "Refugee Youth - Building the Future".

UNHCR's Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, will launch the World Refugee Day celebrations at the National Geographic Society, joined by US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and a 13-year-old Afghan refugee.

The launch delegation will also award the winners of UNHCR's third annual World Refugee Day poster contest. Building on the theme "Shared Wishes, Shared Dreams", students in grades 4 through 10 throughout the United States designed posters reflecting the dreams and values they share with refugee children. The winning posters will be on display at the National Geographic Explorer's Hall throughout the celebration.

A special performance of "Children of War", a theatrical exploration of the experience of war through the eyes, voices and memories of refugee children - is on offer on June 19 in the National Geographic Auditorium. This event has drawn such critical acclaim and public attention that it sold out a week in advance.

Other activities to mark World Refugee Day include multimedia exhibits by refugee youth from areas of violent conflict or social upheaval, through the AJA project, to be on display for two months at National Geographic Explorers Hall. The Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots programme will offer hands-on activities for children and an exhibit of refugee children's art at the Capital Children's Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots programme and UNHCR are co-hosting an event at the Capital Children's Museum that will feature a special appearance by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Jolie. This event will include hands-on activities for children, an exhibit of art by refugee children, and a cheque presentation by Roots & Shoots groups to buy soccer balls for refugee children.