Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities


World Refugee Day


In 2000 the United Nations General Assembly established June 20 as World Refugee Day. Since 2001, people all over the world have celebrated World Refugee Day (WRD) with events that honor the world’s refugees and raise awareness about their continued plight. Events to honor World Refugee Day are held worldwide, from refugee camps around the world to right here in Wisconsin. To learn more about World Refugee Day and the refugee story, click here.

Here in Wisconsin we organize a variety of activities throughout the state in the month of June to recognize the more than 75,000 refugees living across our state and to celebrate the diversity of culture and experiences they bring to our communities.  All events are free and open to the public.

At World Refugee Day celebrations you can learn more about the refugee resettlement process, support local agencies that serve refugees, and enjoy the rich culture of our refugee communities.


World Refugee Day (WRD) 2019 Celebration in Wisconsin

Milwaukee – WRD hosted by the International Institute of Wisconsin 

June 17-21 - Art Exhibit at Milwaukee City Hall

  • Location: 200 E. Wells St. Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Working theme- Refugee Portraits

June 19 - World Refugee Day at Westown Farmers Market 

  • Time: 10:30am-1:30pm
  • Location: Zeidler Union Square 301 W. Michigan St. Milwaukee, WI 53203
  • Informational tables from community organizations
  • Program to include music and dancing

June 20 - World Refugee Day Press Conference at Milwaukee City Hall 

  • Time: 9:30am
  • Location: Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda 200 E. Wells St. Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Program to include refugee speakers, proclamations, etc.
  • Potential tour of City Hall and Common Council Chambers

June 22 – HOME: A Free Outdoor Festival Celebrating Our Refugee Communities 

  • Time: 10am to 4pm
  • Location: Lynden Sculpture Garden 2145 W. Brown Deer Rd. Milwaukee, WI 53217
  • Art, Food and Performance


Madison – WRD hosted by Jewish Social Services 

June 17 – World Refugee Day Film and Panel Discussion

  • Time: 6pm-8pm
  • Location: Central Library, Community Room (Meeting Room 302), 201 W Mifflin St., Madison, WI 53703
  • Screening of award-winning documentary, “This is Home” followed by panel discussion.
  • This event is free and open to the public and co-hosted by JSS and Madison Refugee Union

June 20 – World Refugee Day Town Hall Event 

  • Time: 6pm-8pm
  • Location: UW Hillel 611 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53703
  • Town Hall Event – Panel Discussion on Coming to Madison as a Refugee
  • This event is free and open to the public and co-hosted by Jewish Social Services of Madison and Madison Refugee Union

June 23 – Open Doors for Refugees 4th Annual Picnic - Building Community Together 

  • Time: 12pm-5pm
  • Location: Olin Park Pavillion 
  • The Open Doors for Refugees community picnic is our annual gathering for newly arrived refugee families and community members that support resettlement and immigration efforts in the Madison area. They will have musical and performance entertainment, savory foods and activities for kids and families throughout the day.
  • This event is free and open to the public and hosted by Open Doors for Refugees (volunteer organization in Madison) 


Fox Valley – WRD hosted by World Relief 

June 20 – Baseball game and a picnic

  • Time: 6pm-10pm
  • Location: Fox Cities Stadioum, 2400 N. Casaloma Dr. Appleton, WI
  • Timber Rattlers vs. Clinton Lumberkings


Green Bay – WRD hosted by Forward Service Corporation 

June 20 – Celebration of the courage and perserverance of refugees in the community

  • Time: 5pm-8pm
  • Location: Kennedy Park – 2227 Farlin Ave, Green Bay, WI 54302
  • Soccer games, music, and snacks