Welcome to Building Bridges:

Refugee Support and Advocacy Toolkit

The current global migration crisis is the largest and most rapid escalation ever of people displaced around the world. According to the UN Refugee Agency’s latest figures, there are 65.3 million people who have been forced from home, among them 21.3 million refugees seeking safety in a new country. This humanitarian crisis coincides with a time where economic instability, globalization and fears of terrorism have proved to be breeding ground of xenophobic and nationalistic policies when it comes to defining nations’ principles and standards on immigration. The new immigration policies pushed by Trump’s administration have opened a new chapter in the history of the United States, a country shaped by generations of immigrants and their descendants.

In the face of such policies, there are still many ways we can take action. UUSC has created this toolkit to help individuals, congregations, campus clubs, and community groups mobilize in support of refugees. It is organized into four sections:

  1. Understanding the world’s refugee crisis
  2. Welcome refugees in your community
  3. Counter anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry
  4. Advocate for refugee rights and integration
  5. Frequently Asked Questions and Resources

UUSC is a member of the Refugees Welcome Coalition, an initiative dedicated to show that Americans from all walks of life stand ready to welcome all refugees, regardless of their nationality, religion, or ethnic group. We encourage you to visit the coalition’s website and register your local events for their map and calendar.

We at UUSC are eager to collaborate with you to advance refugee rights. Please be in touch and let us know what you’re interested in doing or what you have already done, and if there are further resources that would support your work. This toolkit is a living document and as we learn from all of you, it will grow with your stories and ideas.

UUSC began our work over 75 years ago when Rev. Waitstill and Martha Sharp traveled to Europe under the sponsorship of the American Unitarian Association to support refugees escaping Nazi persecution. We are proud to continue in this tradition by standing with refugees today.

Refugee Response Network

Whichever action you choose, you can also join the UUSC Refugee Rapid Response Network to receive special alerts and news updates about the world’s refugee crisis and what you can do. You can participate in educational webinars with leaders in the movement, and calls to engage with other UUSC refugee rights advocates. By joining the Refugee Rapid Response Network, you’ll have opportunities to connect with refugee crisis partner organizations in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States; and migrant justice partner organizations along the Central American migration route from El Salvador to the U.S. southern border and beyond. JOIN NOW!

The Story of the Crisis>>