It’s World Refugee Day!

M2D Newsletter (6/20/18)

Hello and Happy World Refugee Day!

Well, maybe “happy” isn’t the right word to use — the UN refugee agency reported yesterday that the total number of forcibly displaced people rose by almost three million people in 2017, to 68.5 million. It’s the sixth consecutive year that the figure hit a post-World War II record.

So, yeah, not the best of times, and that’s not even to mention that Cristiano Ronaldo scored again for Portugal today, which pleases me not at all as I write to you from Erie, PA where I performed last night. I’m soon heading to Akron, OH for another event tonight and still have a giant lake to explore aboard the local pirate ship Scally Wags…

This is a real pirate ship cruise on Lake Erie, led by Captain Jesse Sparrow

…but before I head out, I wanted to give a few suggestions of things you can do to get involved today.

First, show some love for refugees on Twitter. Anytime refugees are trending alongside #MillennialClassicRock, it means people are paying attention (if only for a day). The UN Refugee Agency’s Twitter page is a good place to find some cool and informative things to retweet.

Today it really makes a difference to show that you care about issues of displacement, so I also urge you to say what’s up to your local elected representative. You can find a script, a number to call, curse words to consider including in your rant, etc. at 5 Calls.

Second, hit up a World Refugee Day event! As the people who hosted me in Erie said last night, the best thing you can do to support refugees is to get to know them.

A lot of events are happening tonight, but the festivities continue into the weekend. On a page listing events around the country, I just learned that there’ll be a free Refugee Day concert in Brooklyn on Sunday. I plan on attending after watching/drunk crying during the World Cup earlier that afternoon.

Two 18-year-old Syrian dudes in Erie debuted their food truck outside of the event I spoke at last night.
My shawarma came with ketchup and mayo, I have no complaints.

Lastly, I don’t often ask people to donate, but I will be making a small contribution to Human Rights First today. They’re a small shop and work on issues I care about, including bringing refugees to the U.S. and keeping families together at the border. If you’re looking for an org to donate to, I’d recommend them, even if they are also staffed by scally wags.

More pics and news to come next week!

Best,
Ben