One Journey Festival 2019
In concert with World Refugee Day celebrations, a D.C.-based non-profit organization, One Journey Festival, whose mission is to amplify refugee voices and enhance public awareness of refugee talents and contributions, hosted its 2nd annual event at the National Cathedral at the end of June drawing more than 5,000 participants. The day-long festival featured music, dance, storytelling, soccer, a take action tent, virtual reality, speakers, refugee-owned food trucks, a robust marketplace, unity parade and more. Their Story is Our Story took part in the event alongside 200+ organizations, businesses, and NGOs. Since then, we have formed important partnerships with One Journey Festival, NOVA Friends of Refugees, ECDC, Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington, and have developed valuable friendships with individuals who want their story to be told.
Stepping into Each Others' Stories
When describing the work I do here at TSOS, I often say, we try to help people “step into each other’s stories.” Lately, I’ve been doing more of that myself.
Uniting for Ukraine: U.S. Sponsors Needed
Just as citizens in Europe and the U.K. have heroically supported displaced Ukrainians by opening up their homes or securing other housing, assisting with school enrollments, employment needs, and language learning, Americans now have the opportunity via the Welcome.us Sponsor Circles program to directly help newly arrived Ukrainians. The United States has committed to welcoming 100,000 Ukrainians temporarily for a period of two-years and the ability to apply for employment authorization in the U.S. as long as they have a U.S.-based sponsor to petition for them.
Inviting others to help write a story of success
I quickly realized that in order for my friend Jahan to re-establish her upended art career, she would need some help from a local artist. Enter Ann Marie Coolick, an artist from Arlington, Virginia.