With the passage of a resolution in Westwood, Massachusetts, 50 cities, universities, colleges, and high schools across the country have officially passed resolutions welcoming refugees in their community.
Amnesty International members across the country have worked with community leaders, nonprofit and religious organizations, and local governments to achieve passage of the resolutions.
“Contrary to federal policies that have needlessly and heartlessly sought to vilify people seeking safety, we have seen people around the country take concrete actions to show that refugees are welcome in their community,” said Ashley Houghton, tactical campaign manager at Amnesty International USA. “All of us can play a role by letting our elected officials in the city hall, state house and Congress know that we care about helping others. We want our leaders to support laws that help refugee families who have nowhere else to turn by welcoming them as neighbors.”
The Westwood High School legislative council passed a resolution last night declaring the school to be a “Refugees Welcome” zone.
The resolution states that “The student body of Westwood High School welcomes refugees and declares its support for the resettlement of refugees no matter their religion, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, or country of origin, in Westwood and calls upon other Massachusetts communities to join them in supporting a stronger national effort to resettle the world’s most vulnerable refugees.”
“It took a lot of time and effort over the course of a few weeks reaching out to legislative council and Amnesty International members, but in the end, it was all worth it to pass this resolution. As a community, Westwood is raising awareness of the danger that refugees are in and making a difference,” said Ria Dani, the co-secretary of Westwood High School’s Amnesty International club.
The Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center has resettled more than 180 refugees from different countries including Bhutan, Iraq, Burma, Somalia, Ethiopia, Central African Republic in the past year alone.
To see a map of similar resolutions that have been passed across the country, please visit https://www.amnestyusa.org/i-welcome-resolutions-map/