Leeds has joined other cities from across the world to mark and celebrate World Refugee Day, an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe.
To recognise and raise awareness of the importance of refugees, Leeds has united with the Intercultural Cities Network to support the campaign ‘Everyone Counts’ #CitiesWithRefugees.
In the build-up to World Refugee Day, Leeds has also been supporting Refugee Week, a UK wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resistance of refugees, which this year has been centred on the theme #imagine.
Events have included an online photo exhibition by the Red Cross, showcasing the skills and talents of refugees and asylum seeking artists based in Leeds, as well as a short film developed by Mafwa Theatre, which looks at the journey through cities made by refugees and asylum seekers. A link to the film can be found here.
Commenting on the activity Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake said: “World Refugee Day has been celebrated in Leeds for over 22 years. Refugee Week brings together people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures and provides us with an opportunity to think about our city’s values. It is a time of celebrating the contributions of those new to Leeds, and over the years we have, as a city, brought together activities across Leeds and seen creative and colourful events from around the world that have enriched our city.
“This year, we stand united during the COVID-19 pandemic and will be holding virtual events that continue to bring us together in this time of uncertainty where we have, and continue, as a city to support, give courage and strength to our neighbours and those in need. Happy World Refugee Day”.
Leeds is a proud City of Sanctuary, extending the welcome of our city to people who come here seeking safety.