The Blount County Bahá’í community will host an observance of the United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, in the Sharon Lawson Room at the Blount County Public Library. Attendees will learn about the services and assistance provided to refugees in this area, hear directly from refugees about their experiences, and discuss how Blount County residents can individually and collectively be welcoming neighbors to those who move to this country.

World Refugee Day events, in over 100 countries around the world, draw the public's attention to the millions of refugees worldwide. A refugee is someone who was forced to flee his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. In addition, many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.

The latest figures from the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, show that more than 68 million people have been forcibly displaced within their own countries or across borders.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 503-894-0187.

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