For Immediate Release
Concord Rally will Celebrate Diversity, Respect and Community
Second Annual ‘Love Your Neighbor’ event uses food and fun to link refugees to residents
It’s been almost a year since three African immigrant families awoke to find hate messages and racial slurs scrawled across the sides of their Concord homes. The attack was anonymous, but the community response was both public and overwhelmingly supportive of the state’s refugee population, many of whom came to New Hampshire to escape escalating violence and political unrest in their own countries.
“We are here to express our outrage at what happened,” Gov. John Lynch told a large crowd during last September’s “Love Your Neighbor” rally. “But even more, we’re here to express our commitment, our love and our support for our neighbors here in Concord, and in New Hampshire.”
On Saturday, July 28, the second annual “Love Your Neighbor” rally will be held in Keach Park in Concord from noon to 4 p.m. This year’s event will feature an open soccer tournament, a barbeque dinner, a raffle, music and lots of family fun. The rally is free and open to the public.
“This event is an opportunity to build bridges and forge new friendships,” said Honore Murenzi, an African immigrant who has founded a group called New American Africans to help refugees integrate into their new communities. “Empathy is the key to a strong community, and the first step toward understanding each other is getting to know one another.”
Immigration reform has become a centerpiece of the upcoming presidential election and
Federal legislation such as The Dream Act, which would create a path to citizenship for some young illegal immigrants, has divided much of the country. Local organizers hope Concord’s “Love Your Neighbor” rally will be an opportunity to put politics aside and connect the community on a more local and fundamental level that rekindles the American melting pot tradition of celebrating diversity, a theme Assistant Secretary of State Anne Richard hit on during a World Refugee Day event in Washington in late June.
“Welcoming refugees is a core part of who we are as a nation,” she told a gathering of diplomats, politicians and private citizens. “It reflects our national values.”
For more information please contact:
Honore Murenzi, Executive Director, New American Africans
4 Park St., Suite 215
Concord, NH 03301