Race for the refugees held at SVSU - WNEM TV 5

Race for the refugees held at SVSU

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Saginaw Valley State University Saginaw Valley State University

The Welcome Home Organization hosts a day of races at Saginaw Valley State University. The Welcome Home Run is an event geared toward fund-raising and advocating for incoming refugee families.

Nik Berkobien is one of the event organizers and says it's a great way to promote awareness locally.

"What initially began as a class project kind of grew into something with bigger goals and aspirations," Berkobien said. "Basically what we're trying to do is advocate for awareness for refugees, as well as kind of fund-raise. We’re going to direct all of the proceeds from the event to refugee resettlement efforts with the Tri-Cities Refugee Resettlement Organization."

The Welcome Home Organization hopes to act as liaison between community members, students and local organizations. Reanna Cantrall is one of the group founders and she says it’s important to get involved with issues you’re passionate about and make your voice heard.

"We're also having a post-card writing session where the runners and participants can write postcards to local and state representatives to share their ideas, share their experiences, and hopefully push this movement forward," said Cantrall

SVSU’s Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Deborah Huntley says this event is a great example of student empowerment.

"One of the prime ways that we do that is by putting our student's out there in situations where they can really do positive things in various organizations."

The Welcome Home Organization was created by 5 university students in 2016, but Berkobien says it’s not exclusive to SVSU.

"Although it started at SVSU and its roots are at SVSU, anyone is welcome to join."

The group hopes to host the Welcome Home Run as an annual event in the future.

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