Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Amber Roseboom
Director of Media Relations
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Catholic Charities Hosts Virtual #Stridewithrefugees: Walk a Mile in Their Shoes, Educates Participants on the Difficult Journey Refugees Make to Seek Safety in the U.S.    

Virtual Event Takes Place in Conjunction with World Refugee Day 2020 


ARLINGTON, Va. - On Friday, June 19, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington's Migration and Refugee Services program will lead #StrideWithRefugees: Walk a Mile in Their Shoes. The event is a virtual refugee simulation which offers various, realistic scenarios that highlight the challenges and difficult decisions refugees face on their journey to the U.S. The simulation is being done in conjunction with the 2020 observance of World Refugee Day on June 20.

“In celebration of World Refugee Day, recognized on June 20 each year, we are encouraging people to #StrideWithRefugees and learn about the journey and accomplishments of refugees who resettle in the United States,” said Jessica Estrada, Catholic Charities' Director of Newcomer Services. “A virtual simulation is one way to get a sense of the difficult choices a refugee has to make as they travel to safety. We will also be sharing success of some local refugees who have built new lives in our own community.”

#StrideWithRefugees: Walk A Mile in Their Shoes

Scenarios include accompanying a refugee who is forced to flee his or her home due to violence and choosing what items to bring along. Another will follow a refugee as he or she makes the journey to a refugee camp, then explore what that refugee's life looks like in a refugee camp.

Friday, June 19, 2020
4-5:30 p.m.

To Participate:      
Register at or go to Catholic Charities' Facebook page and register on the Virtual Refugee Event group.

See Bishop Michael F. Burbidge's statement on World Refugee Day here.

Worldwide, there are more than 25 million refugees, according to the United Nations. This fiscal year, ending September 30, 2020, the United States plans to admit about 18,000 refugees. The number has declined markedly since 1980, when the United States admitted 205,000 refugees. In 2019, the U.S. admitted 30,000 refugees.

A refugee is defined as one who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country,” according to the 1951 Refugee Convention. The Catholic Church addresses the plight of these vulnerable women, men and families through advocacy, education efforts, and providing services and support to refugees admitted to the United States to settle here.

For more information, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington serves the poor and vulnerable who live within the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington, which is led by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Catholic Charities provides food for the hungry, a free medical clinic for adults including prenatal care, adoption services, transformational housing for the homeless, mental health counseling, emergency financial assistance, prison ministry, workforce development, and immigration and refugee services. Catholic Charities serves all, regardless of