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Buses and Streamers and Umbrellas, Oh My!

A Recap of ORAM’s Pride Month in the U.S.

In a flash of rainbow hashtags, brilliant streamers, and show-stopping umbrellas, Pride Month flew by here at ORAM.

Pictured: ORAM and Deutsche Bank's contingent in the 2022 NYC Pride March.

We kicked the month off with a social media campaign that served as a platform for LGBTIQ refugees whom we serve to share about their journeys – that their stories were incredible messages of hope and inspiration came as no surprise to us. A gay man who fled Uganda gave us insight into what led him to start a catering business in Nairobi, which ORAM now supports. A bisexual woman from Ukraine opened up about her dream to create a brand-new life for herself, and her girlfriend, in Berlin… The stories continue (read more here).

Pictured: Ronnie, founder of Ronniez Delicacy catering business, is one of the LGBTIQ refugees whose story is featured in our Pride social media campaign.

On June 12, ORAM marched in our first Pride Parade of the month, LA Pride 2022, alongside our partners at Microsoft. As this was the LA area’s first in-person parade in two years, it drew over 125,000 people! Together with our friends and family, we carried our banner around Hollywood, spreading the word about ORAM far and wide.

Pictured: ORAM Communications and Development Coordinator Katie Miller (left) with a friend at the LA Pride Parade.

Then, on June 20, we celebrated World Refugee Day. This year’s focus, determined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, was on the universal human right to seek safety. So, we asked our community what being safe means to them. You can find out what they had to say here.

Amidst all of the month’s happy chaos, ORAM’s corporate engagement continued to flourish. Our Executive Director Steve Roth was invited to speak about our work on panels with Google, Delta Air Lines, and JP Morgan! These events were a great opportunity not only to spread the word about the plight of LGBTIQ refugees globally (and what ORAM does to alleviate their struggles), but also to encourage corporate action – donations, mentorship, sponsorship, and more.

Pictured: ORAM Executive Director Steve Roth (right) speaks on a panel hosted by JP Morgan at their office in New York City.

The only way to close out such a momentous month was by “shouting about LGBTIQ refugees from the rooftop,” as journalist Michael Luongo wrote of our 2022 LGBTIQ Refugee Pride Reception in New York. The event, hosted by Deutsche Bank on the rooftop of their headquarters, was jam-packed with excitement – from sweeping views of Central Park to an appearance by Emmy-nominated actress and LGBTIQ immigrant Dominique Jackson.

Pictured: LGBTIQ refugee Madrine Nanyonjo (right) presents actress Dominique Jackson (left) with the ORAM Impact Award.

Our friends and supporters gathered to honor the queer displaced folks whom ORAM serves, including Madrine Nanyonjo, a nonbinary refugee from Uganda who was in attendance, to hear from Dominique as she was presented with ORAM’s inaugural Impact Award, and to support ORAM’s work. And as the reception came to an end, attendees grabbed free umbrellas provided by Deutsche Bank and Rentbrella, emblazoned with rainbows and a clever message – “ORAM protects LGBTIQ refugees rain or shine.” More than just a souvenir, these umbrellas were used as eye-catching props for Deutsche Bank and ORAM’s contingent in the New York Pride March two days later.

Many who attended the reception turned out to march that weekend – alongside Deutsche Bank’s double-decker bus, which was decked out in a smattering of rainbow crowns, hearts, and stars – with umbrellas in hand.

Pictured: The view from Deutsche Bank's double decker bus at the NYC Pride March.

For photos of ORAM’s Pride Reception and march, head to our Flickr page.

‘Til next time, Pride Month! If you weren’t able to join us this time around, you can still contribute to our Pride campaign here – to support our efforts to uplift LGBTIQ refugees in Ukraine, Kenya, and Mexico. What better way to celebrate Pride?

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