Traci: Reflecting on Artvocacy

After the conclusion of the IRC’s refugee art event, Artvocacy, an older Iraqi man that I had recruited as an artist came up to me and with the deepest sincerity thanked me over and over for the opportunity to participate in the event. He told me that he hasn’t had many opportunities to share his art since moving to the United States, and what a wonderful night it was for him to get to tell people about his art. It was such a great moment for me to realize that this event was truly about the artists and spreading awareness of their lives as refugees through their story as artists.

Also as a part of the event, we had a USCIS Naturalization Ceremony, where 5 or 6 refugees swore in as US citizens. This was a great moment because it deeply connected the event to its celebration of World Refugee Day. The best part of the ceremony was when two children of one of the new US citizens led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. A definite tear jerker!

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