On June 20, the United Nations and more than 100 countries will observe World Refugee Day, recognizing the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of displaced people who are forced to flee their homes to escape war or human rights abuses. Dayton Metro Library offers several opportunities through film, literature and personal presentations to learn about refugee experiences.
On Thursday, June 21, the Library hosts a free screening of the PBS documentary “Lost Boys of Sudan,” 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Main Library’s Eichelberger Forum, 215 E. Third Street. A question and answer period with the Miami Valley Refugee Resettlement Program of Catholic Social Services directly follows the screening at 7:30 p.m. The film will be replayed on Saturday, June 23, 12:00-2:00 p.m. without the question and answer period, in the Library’s Bassani Theater Off Third.
The documentary follows two young Sudanese refugees, Peter and Santino, through their first challenging year in America. From PBS.org:
“The genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan is the most recent violent episode in a country where a 20-year civil war has killed an estimated two million people and displaced more than four million. As small boys, Peter and Santino lost their families to the war and were forced to flee their homes. Along with 20,000 other boys, they wandered hundreds of miles across the desert seeking safety. After a decade in a Kenyan refugee camp, nearly 4,000 "Lost Boys" have come to the U.S. as part of a refugee resettlement effort. Peter and Santino set out to make new lives for themselves in Houston and in Kansas City. Their struggle asks us to rethink what it means to be an American.”
On Tuesday, June 26, a panel of African immigrants and refugees will share their personal stories in “Voices of the Immigrant Experience.” This program, sponsored by Welcome Dayton, encourages participants’ questions and encourages open dialogue. It is scheduled in conjunction with a discussion of the novel Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi, the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize fiction runner-up, which traces 300 years of history through two families in Ghana. The book discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. and “Voices of the Immigrant Experience” follows at 7:30 in the Library’s Bassani Theater Off Third.
All of these events are free and open to the public at the Main Library, 215 E. Third Street, Dayton. For more information, visit DaytonMetroLibrary.org or call 937.463.2665.