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Advocacy has always been a part of ReWA’s mission. We advocate with/for refugees and immigrants for social justice, public-policy changes, and equal access to services, while respecting the cultural values of newcomers and their rights to self-determination. We work with stakeholders and community partners to ensure that all newcomers understand and assert their right to fully and equally participate in every aspect of the community.
A centerpiece of our advocacy efforts since 2007 has been our organization of an annual Washington State Refugee and Immigrant Legislative Day, where members of the communities we serve, ReWA staff, our many partner organizations, and supportive collaborators gather at Olympia to demonstrate our unity and display our diversity and strength to legislators. Our aim is to raise awareness about issues that affect the lives of refugees and immigrants—like adequate funding for ESL, citizenship, and employment programs and equal access to education—and to do so peacefully, vibrantly, and effectively.
An equally important part of ReWA’s advocacy occurs at the local level. We hold forums for community members on the structure and operations of local, state, and national government, on key issues affecting refugee and immigrant communities, on engaging in the democratic process and strategies for advocacy, and on tools that can be used to stress to law-making bodies the necessity of equal access to resources and opportunities. Furthermore, ReWA ensures that the refugee and immigrant community has representation at city budget conferences and other critical decision-making meetings. And always, through our programs, we advocate for clients’ access to the services they need to become self-sufficient.
• Advocate through participation in the Refugee and Immigrant Legislative Day
• Be a voice for refugees and immigrants by pairing up with a refugee to meet with legislators from your district
• Sign up with us to attend City and County meetings/hearings to ensure the needs of refugees/immigrants are given equal consideration
• Join our Speakers Bureau to speak on behalf of refugees at public hearings