In an effort to raise awareness and support for Syrian refugees, Women's March organizers have declared April 13 a national Day of Action for Syria. As part of a broad campaign to draw attention to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed or displaced by the 6-year Syrian civil war, Women's March organizers will hold vigils throughout the United States as part of their national Day of Action for Syria campaign. With 57 vigils organized across 22 states, there's a good chance you'll be able to find a Women For Syria vigil near you.
"We recently saw horrific images of dead Syrian babies, mothers crying, fathers begging for death after the murders of their family members," Women's March organizers said in a statement. "In the past 6 years, over 500,000 Syrians have been killed and over 6 million displaced within Syria and throughout the world." According to Women's March organizers, "Syrians have often said they feel alone... like no one in the world cares about them or their plight for freedom, safety and security."
With their national Day of Action for Syria, Women's March organizers are calling on people around the country (and beyond) to stand up for Syrians by opposing President Donald Trump's temporary Syrian refugee ban. "We are outraged that the President and his cabinet are banning the very refugees that are escaping the same terrorism we are claiming to fight," Women's March organizers said. "We demand that we be a sanctuary and safe haven for Syrian refugees. We call on the administration to let in at least 75,000 refugees."
While vigils haven't been planned for all 50 states, organizers have made it easy to quickly find where they are scheduled to take place. To find the vigil nearest you, peep the list of all 57 Women For Syria vigils that have been organized in the United States on the Women's March website. The list includes links to each vigils' event details. All vigils are slated to begin at 6 p.m. local time. Participants are encouraged to bring their own candles and signs.
For those who find they're, unfortunately, not located near a planned vigil, Women's March organizers have partnered with Circle of Health International to host a two-hour online vigil via Facebook. Those interested in participating are encouraged to tune into Circle of Health International's Facebook page from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. CT for a Facebook Live meditation vigil aimed at encouraging reflection and brainstorming of tangible action steps to help those in need.
At least 470,000 people have been killed as a result of Syria's civil war, according to Mercy Corps. Ongoing fighting has internally displaced an estimated 6.3 million people within Syria with another roughly 5 million Syrians living as refugees outside the country, according to estimates from humanitarian aid organizations. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the United States resettled 18,007 Syrian refugees between Oct. 1, 2011 and Dec, 31, 2016.
Additional ways to participate in the Day of Action for Syria include setting aside some time to educate yourself and others about the Syrian conflict or donating to organizations dedicated to helping Syrian refugees abroad and those still trapped inside the country.