June 20 is World Refugee Day (WRD), a day designated by the United Nations to honor and celebrate refugees around the world. World Refugee Day is an opportunity to highlight the journeys and risks refugees face, their dreams and hopes for a better future, and our responsibility to advocate for pathways to protection for all people forced to flee home.

In 2023, EMM’s marking of World Refugee Day is linked to celebrations of Pride Month in June, as we provide resources and invite local communities to support LGBTQ+ forced migrants (refugees and asylum seekers) through our Rainbow Initiative.   

The Rainbow Initiative is a project of Episcopal Migration Ministries, which was created in response to an Episcopal Church General Convention resolution called “On Supporting LGBTIQ+ Refugees and Asylum Seekers.” The Rainbow Initiative educates and inspires congregations and communities to advocate, pray, and engage in direct service to support LGBTQ+ forced migrants, who face unique challenges both in their home countries and as they seek safety elsewhere. 

Join EMM during the month of June and take action to speak out in support of refugee resettlement and the dignity and rights of all people. 

In an interactive map resource, you will see all the World Refugee Day events available in the United States. To learn more, click on the event or scroll below the map to see the full list of upcoming events. You can also submit your own events! Learn more here.

ORAM is hosting its fourth annual LGBTQ Refugee Pride Reception on Saturday, June 17, 2023, in Los Angeles. Learn more here.

Join a National Celebration of Refugees on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Find more details here.

EMM Webinar Recording:  The Rainbow Initiative: An introduction to LGBTQ+ forced migrants​ & what The Episcopal Church can do with and for them​. Webinar resources: On demand video | PPT Slides (English) | PPT Slides en español

McGuirk, Siobhan, Max Niedzwiecki, Temitope Oke & Anastasia Volkova. (2015). Stronger Together, a Guide to Supporting LGBT Asylum Seekers. LGBT Freedom and Asylum Network.  This guide provides comprehensive information about how communities can best serve LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in the United States. 

Find more resources from the Rainbow Initiative here.

Learn more about the Episcopal Church’s stance on LGBTQ+ inclusion and related resources here.

UNHCR recognizes the unique vulnerabilities of LGBTQ+ persons who face displacement due to persecution and provides educational and training resources here.

The Religion and Forced Migration Initiative – A program of Princeton University’s Office of Religious Life featuring:
The Oral History Project on Religion & Resettlement, a Refugee Resource Map, and an extensive collection of learning materials.

Social media can be important touch-points tracked by Congressional offices. Post to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #SupportRefugees, #WithRefugees, #EpiscopalAdvocacy, #WRD2023 and be sure to tag your Members of Congress, EMM (@EMMRefugees), and UNHCR accounts (@USAforUNHCR, @refugees, @UNHCRUSA). Sample social media post language could include:

#Refugees bring resiliency & experiences to help make our communities better. We celebrate them this #WRD2023! #EpiscopalAdvocacy #WithRefugees #SupportRefugees

As we celebrate #WRD2023, join us in making sure the U.S. continues its welcoming legacy and resettles #refugees. #EpiscopalAdvocacy #WithRefugees #SupportRefugees

We are All America WRD Social Media and Advocacy Resources