23rd Annual National Conference
Strengthening Communities for Refugees in Response to a Changing Environment
May 31 - June 2, 2017•HOLIDAY INN ARLINGTON•4610 N. FAIRFAX DRIVE•ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22203
Conference Theme and Description
ECDC’s Annual National Conference is a unique event dedicated to African 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 African 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 23rd annual national conference will take place May 31 Ė June 2, 2017, at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston, in Arlington, Virginia.
ECDCís conference comes at a crucial time for refugees, both abroad and domestically. The world refugee crisis continues to be one of the defining issues of our time with more people displaced by war and persecution than ever before. A recent United Nations report found that a record 65.3 million people were internally displaced persons, refugees, or asylum seekers at the end of 2015, almost 6 million more than in 2014. While the refugee crisis can be expected to continue unabated, domestic politics in Europe and the United States have made responding to this challenge more difficult than ever. In these unprecedented times, ECDCís conference will focus on how to respond to the uncertainties facing the future of resettlement and the challenges facing refugee and immigrant communities. Attendees will leave the conference empowered to become better advocates for refugees at the local and national levels.
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 is 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.