One Journey’s grassroots movement began in September 2017. With hundreds of volunteers, sponsors, and partners, our team of community organizers has hosted 45+ refugee awareness-raising and celebratory events.
Our signature event is the annual One Journey Festival. The first two were held in June 2018 and June 2019 on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral and drew thousands of participants. Raising awareness worldwide, One Journey’s message of “many paths, one journey” reached more than 275,000 people globally. Highlights included a cooking show with Chef José Andrés, a live interactive experience with refugees in Iraq, Rwanda and Mexico, and appearances by the Pichintu Girls Chorus and UN Goodwill Ambassadors.
Other events included film showings, panel discussions, community soccer days, employment workshops, and a growing national presence with events in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Plus, the Kennedy Center selected One Journey for its Culture Caucus of community arts organizations in residence at its new REACH facility. You can read about the Festivals and our first two years in the 2019 Impact Report.
Then COVID-19 struck. Our hearts go out to all who have lost loved ones and had their lives disrupted. One Journey postponed in-person events and pivoted to virtual options to further its mission and assist refugees affected by the pandemic. Initiatives included Journeys Home, a virtual platform for struggling performers. We launched the Refugee Mask Maker Circle to help financially struggling families. The Refugee Ally Collective series features the services of our partners. You can read about our pandemic response here.
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
As the end of the pandemic unfolds, One Journey is moving in exciting directions.
Beginning a New Partnership. For World Refugee Day 2021, One Journey is a partner with the Kennedy Center and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, for three days of celebration and inspiration at the REACH. The event heralds new possibilities in a national venue.
Growing the National Celebration. The One Journey Festival returns on June 25, 2022, with even larger participation anticipated and visibility worldwide. Our dream is for the Festival to become an enduring global event that showcases the courage and contributions of refugees.
Engaging Allies, Motivating Action. By bringing people together and creating connections, we motivate new allies to take action locally, nationally, and globally. Working with 140+ partners, One Journey is expanding its role as a resource for community engagement.
Expanding Our Focus on Advocacy. Storytelling is at the core of our mission. Planning is underway to leverage the stories and talents of refugees to change public opinion, advocate for refugee, and shape public policy.
Taking the Movement to the Nation and the World. One Journey is expanding across the United States and is laying the foundations to go global. Events are anticipated for Boston, New York, and a growing network of universities.