World Refugee Day 2015

Refugees, representing more than 20 different ethnic communities worldwide, gathered with Utahns from the local welcoming community to celebrate World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 6.

“[This event] is an opportunity for the community to come together. Every one of these folks has an amazing story,” said Gerald Brown, director of the Utah Refugee Services Office. “This is great place to make a friend. That’s why we do it.”

America’s future prosperity depends on refugees' ability to successfully integrate into our society.

With 2015 being the 10th year Utah has celebrated World Refugee Day, the community festival included live cultural entertainment, kids’ activities, food vendors, global market and a soccer tournament championship match.

A highlight of the celebration was the naturalization and citizenship ceremony for 19 former refugees who are now citizens of the United States of America.

World Refugee Day — established by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 4, 2000 — is an annual commemoration to celebrate the strength and resilience of the refugee communities throughout the world, recognize the struggles faced by displaced populations, and raise awareness about refugee issues.

Here is a sampling of news media coverage:

For more information about Utah’s refugee services, visit