November 7, 2018
By Russell Dyk and Sahr MuhammedAlly
With so much spiteful rhetoric around immigration during this election season, it was both uplifting and inspiring to attend Refugee Action Fund’s Launch Party on October 23rd at New York City’s Tenement Museum.
Like the Refugee Action Fund's founders, the crowd at the event were drawn from the world of energy finance. Yet all were drawn to the very important work that the Refugee Action Fund supports and why not? In the room were a mix of professionals hailing from Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Tanzania, Pakistan and more, many of them first or second generation immigrants to this country themselves. That’s the true, underlying, and very American ideal that the event and it’s location captured perfectly: a legacy of welcoming, assimilating and recognizing the contribution of immigrants to the United States of America.
It was left to Becca Heller, the co-founder of the International Refugee Assistance Program (IRAP), to remind the room, with a mix of humor and poignancy, not only what motivates refugees fleeing violence and war to seek a safe life in a foreign land, but also how many obstacles that can face during the process to seek safety. She highlighted how refugees' wellspring of hope runs deep, but also how hope is not enough. It is action that is needed to translate hope into reality and that’s what the Refugee Action Fund is focused on supporting and why they deserve your support too!