What is Refugee Week?
19th-25th June 2023
Refugee Week is the world's largest arts and culture festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of people seeking sanctuary. It’s been running in the UK since 1998 and is always the week around World Refugee Day (20 June).
This year’s theme is ‘compassion’, and we invite everyone to celebrate what compassion looks like in action. Together we can create a shared understanding of compassion to ensure we are extending it widely to all.
Through a programme of arts and culture, sports and educational activities alongside exciting media and creative campaigns, Refugee Week brings people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels, as well as foster a deeper understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges people face when seeking sanctuary.
We’ve put together a toolkit with ideas and stories to interest you.
- A Community of Compassion: 5 Way to Respond
- A Community of Compassion: Theological Reflection
Who can take part?
It’s an umbrella festival which means anyone can take part no matter where they are. Last year, an estimated 1.6 million people took part in Refugee Week, with over 1000 events across the UK (including Scotland, Wales and Ireland) as well as five new international festivals (Berlin, Greece, Hong Kong, Malta, Taiwan), joining the long-standing Refugee Week Australia.
Who is it for?
Refugee Week is for everyone. Anyone can get involved whether you have five minutes or five months to prepare something. In the past, we’ve had all sorts of individuals, groups and organisations take part such as: sports clubs, faith groups, schools, businesses, arts organisations, community groups and people at home. Activities have included performances, artistic commissions, creative workshops, school activities, community get togethers, football tournaments, faith events, cooking classes, meals, walks, talks and podcasts – just to name a few!
“Our task must be to free ourselves – by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”- Albert Einstein
But none of these things happen in isolation. We know how interconnected our world is: how something seemingly “far away” impacts everyone. All of this makes us even more aware of the need to widen our circles of compassion.
Events in our diocese
For Refugee Week 2023, the Cathedral has joined with the Diocesan Social Justice Network, the Clewer Initiative, and KRAN to engage our surrounding communities via free talks, workshops, discussions and an exhibition in building a Community of Compassion for those in need of international protection.
- Sharing our Story, Tuesday 20 June
- Building Bridges, Thursday 22 June
- Art exhibition: Hear My Voice, 19-22 June
Social media accounts
You can find out the latest news about Refugee Week by following the social media accounts here:
Or you can use these hashtags: