By: Melanie Goerke, GenUN Fellow - Midwest Region
Today on October 24, we celebrate UN Day. This year is the 71st anniversary of the United Nations, with the theme of One Humanity, Shared Responsibility. UNA-USA chapters will hold more than 150 events celebrating the anniversary and will bring awareness to the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
This year, at Michigan State University, we held a two-day forum bringing to light some of the most pressing issues of the refugee crisis. We began our weekend of events with a film screening of the documentary Salam Neighbor, featuring two Americans who travel to the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan to spend a month covering what the UN Refugee Agency calls the world’s most pressing humanitarian crisis. Upon completion of the film screening, we held a distinguished Q&A panel session with some of the most prominent local figures involved in the Refugee Crisis.
The following day, Michigan State University held the One Humanity, Shared Responsibility Gala. This event featured a plethora of speakers consisting of the President and Vice President of UNA-MSU, myself (the GenUN Fellow for the Midwest), President of the Greater Lansing United Nations Chapter, Coordinator from the Lansing Refugee Development Center, Director of Refugee Services at St. Vincent Catholic Charities, Leader from the Books Not Bombs Campaign on the MSU Campus, multiple members of MSU international student organizations, and our featured keynote speaker Andrea Risotto of the Better World Campaign. The event concluded with a wonderful dinner and silent auction, with many comments of praise from our guests.
This event is slated to be an annual UN day program from UNA-MSU. We are proud to have so many community partners and to include such amazing Spartans in our conversation revolving around the United Nations as a whole, and the Refugee Crisis, not only in the middle east, but all over the world.