Austin's annual World Refugee Day celebration returns to the Bullock Museum this Saturday

Free event celebrates new American citizens with food, music and family fun

JUNE 11, 2019 (AUSTIN, TX) — The Bullock Texas State History Museum will host Austin's annual celebration of United Nations' World Refugee Day this Saturday, June 15. The free event will feature a naturalization ceremony, live music, samples of world cuisine, and family activities, followed by a film screening and panel discussion.

Established by the United Nations in 2000 and first celebrated on June 20, 2001, World Refugee Day raises awareness of the plight of refugees throughout the world. The Austin celebration, sponsored by the Bullock Museum and member organizations of the Austin Refugee Roundtable, celebrates new American citizens and recognizes the courage and resilience of refugee families and individuals. 

"The Museum is honored to host Austin's celebration of the United Nations' World Refugee Day for the 11th year in a row. The event celebrates the great diversity of our state as we welcome our newest Texans and help them to find their place in the story of Texas," said Bullock Museum Deputy Director of Interpretation Kate Betz.

Starting at 11:30 am, visitors can discover what the journey of a refugee is like through a learning game sponsored by Refugee Services of Texas with support from Caritas Austin. At noon, guests are invited to witness refugees taking the oath that will complete their process of becoming a U.S. citizen at an official naturalization ceremony in the Museum's Texas Spirit Theater. Space is limited, so those wishing to attend should check in at the Theater upon arrival to receive a pass. 

Also beginning at noon will be festivities in the Museum's third-floor Austin Room, including a performance by Congolese kids music group New Generation, followed by Bramaya at 12:30 pm. Additionally, guests can enjoy samples of world cuisine, participate in family activities, snap photos in a photo booth sponsored by American Red Cross, and more.

Following this year's ceremony and family activities will be a screening and panel discussion about the documentary film This is Home in the Texas Spirit Theater starting at 3 pm. The film is an intimate portrait of four Syrian refugee families arriving in America and struggling to find their footing in a new country. Guests wishing to attend the screening can pick up free tickets at the Theater starting at 1 pm.

"World Refugee Day serves as a reminder that we are all connected, that we should be thankful for what we have and appreciate those with the strength and perseverance to overcome the worst the world had to offer," said Lubna Zeidan, Refugee Program Director at Interfaith Action of Central Texas. "It is a day to lift up our neighbors and thank them for their sacrifice and for enriching our lives."

Austin's World Refugee Day celebration will take place at the Bullock Museum on Saturday, June 15 starting at 11:30 am. For more information, visit TheStoryofTexas.com.

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World Refugee Day at the Bullock Museum is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Additional support for educational programming provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

 

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The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin includes three floors of exhibitions, an IMAX® theater, a special-effects theater, café, and Museum Store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and produce exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. Named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the iconic building is at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For more, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Additional support for educational programming provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.