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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Interfaith Event Will Focus on Welcoming Refugees

Lutheran Social Services

The interfaith community in Grand Rapids is putting on an event to encourage a welcoming environment for refugees moving to the city. 

Do unto others. That’s the title and message behind tonight’s event at the Catholic Information Center aimed at helping Grand Rapids be a more welcoming place for refugees. Katie Gordon is with the Kaufman Interfaith Institute and is one of the organizers.

“A lot of folks from the civic engagement community, the interfaith community have all combined efforts to host this community-wide event talking about how we can all help create Grand Rapids as a more welcoming space for Refugees.”

By a lot, Gordon means there are over 50 sponsors.

“So everyone from the West Michigan Hindu Temple, to local churches, the Christian Reformed Church Office of Social Justice, the Buddhist Temple..”

Aside from community keynote speakers, the event, which begins at 7 p.m., will host both information from agencies that focus on refugee services and first hand accounts.

“We’ll also be hearing stories from refugees who’ve settled in Grand Rapids over the last few years, and last decade and hear what it’s actually like to be a refugee, throughout the whole process coming from often times war-torn countries." 

Mariano Avila is WGVU's inclusion reporter. He has made a career of bringing voices from the margins to those who need to hear them. Over the course of his career, Mariano has written for major papers in English and Spanish, published in magazines, worked in broadcast, and produced short films, commercials, and nonprofit campaigns. He also briefly served at a foreign consulate, organized for international human rights efforts and has done considerable work connecting marginalized people to religious, educational, and nonprofit institutions through the power of story.
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