24th Annual National Conference

U.S. Refugee Protection: Reflecting on the Past and Preparing for the Future  



Conference Description


ECDCís Annual National Conference is a special event dedicated to refugee and immigrant issues in the United States. Attendees will interact with policymakers, academics, service providers, community leaders, and former refugees, exchanging knowledge and sharing insights. The conference is part of ECDCís efforts to enhance public awareness of and support for refugee and immigrant needs, to strengthen resettlement programs and services, and to promote cultural and socio-economic initiatives that help newcomers integrate into their communities. ECDCís 24th annual national conference will take place April 18-19, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Alexandria Ė Old Town.


With the Refugee Act of 1980, Congress established the United States refugee resettlement program and declared it to be the ďhistoric policy of the United States to respond to the urgent needs of persons subject to persecution in their homelands.Ē Almost 40 years later, refugee resettlement in the United States and other protection mechanisms for displaced populations face uncertainty.



At ECDCís conference, panel discussions and workshops will give participants a deeper understanding of the historical context of the United Statesí commitment to refugee protection and resettlement, while enabling them to draw upon lessons from the past to prepare for challenges of the future. The goal is to analyze the current refugee narrative with the aim to find ways collectively to educate the public, and advocate and enhance support for refugees.

About ECDC

ECDC was established in 1983 to respond to the needs of the growing Ethiopian community in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and across the U.S. Today, ECDC serves newcomers from around the world as a National Voluntary Agency, authorized by the Department of State to resettle refugees through its resettlement network of three branch offices and 13 affiliated agencies. ECDC's program of public education seeks to increase awareness within the wider community and among mainstream organizations about issues of concern to the newcomer community in general and to African refugees and immigrants in particular.