Every year, refugees worldwide walk more than a billion miles to reach the nearest point of safety.

For World Refugee Day on June 20, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is asking everyone to “take a step” in solidarity with refugees. The campaign challenges people and communities to show their support in fun, active, ways—like dancing, running, or biking—and post to social media to encourage others to do the same. Other ways to get involved include attending a World Refugee Day Event, hiring and welcoming refugees, and reading and sharing their stories.

Fordham took a step with refugees last fall when the University signed on to the #WithRefugees campaign, joining a coalition of more than 500 universities, businesses, foundations, faith-based organizations, youth groups, and NGOs who are working together to provide help and support to refugees and asylum seekers.

“We live in a world in which millions of refugees—many of them children—have been driven from their homes by war, ethnic strife, and natural disasters,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “While society is a long way from addressing the root causes of the refugee issue, we can, and must, do our utmost to care for those whose lives have been violently uprooted. To do so is a duty we owe every single member of the human family.”

Fordham has recently hosted several events focused on the struggles of refugees, including a conference on women who are forced to flee their homes and a panel on leadership needed for this global crisis.

More information about how to get involved can be found on the UNHCR’s World Refugee Day website.



Nicole LaRosa is the senior director of University communications. She can be reached at [email protected] or 212-903-8810.