Community Picnic 2018

100 Rachel Carson Way, Ithaca, NY 14850

Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 11am-2pm

Community Picnic

Join Ithaca Welcomes Refugees for our Second Annual Community Picnic hosted by our friends at Groundswell Incubator Farm.

Bring your favorite dish to share and join us for live music, games, farm tours and more!

Celebrate the diversity of the greater Ithaca area and join in welcoming new neighbors at this family-friendly picnic!

Contact or 607-319-5095 to sign up for FREE transportation from downtown Ithaca, and to learn more about the event.

This program was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program.

For the event flyer with translations in Arabic, Karen, Spanish and Mandarin, CLICK HERE.


IWR Volunteer Orientation and Training

Dodds Hall, Ithaca First Presbyterian Church

Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 1pm - 3pm

Are you interested in volunteering? Do you want to learn about the organization and where you can help out? Come to Orientation! This will be held in the first hour, 1-2pm.

The second hour (2-3pm) will feature a Training for volunteers who want to get involved with direct service (best practices for communicating with English language learners, and understanding trauma/post-trauma.

Please RSVP to and let us know which hour(s) you will be attending. 

Online Auction to Benefit Global Roots Play School

Thursday, May 10, 2018 - All Day, Every Day (May 10-21)



The Auction

This silent online auction features amazing gifts and experiences from generous local businesses such as:

100% of proceeds will go to Global Roots Play School’s family scholarship program.

How Can You Help?

  • Volunteer (we have lots do to!)
  • Participate by donating a gift or service for auction
  • Spread the word!
  • Bid on an item and shop with purpose. The auction is open until May 21st!


Global Roots Play School is an initiative of IWR and helps refugee and immigrant families by providing affordable, accessible childcare to parents eager to learn English. Learn more here.

To volunteer or donate an item email

Global Roots Play School Clean Up Day – THANK YOU!

402 N. Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY 14850

Saturday, August 26, 2017 - 10am-2pm

Join us at Global Roots Play School for a fun time cleaning and prepping the classroom and play spaces!  We’re looking for a bunch of eager IWR folks to help make the space beautiful and welcoming for families. More hands will make it easy and all are welcome!

If you are interested in helping, email with your availability!

Event Recap:

Ithaca Welcomes Refugees and the staff of the Global Roots Play School would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the over 22 volunteers who gave their time and boundless energy this past Saturday, August 26, to clean up and organize the play school. We could not have done it without you!
What started out as a dusty classroom in desperate need of some serious elbow grease is now a warm, clean, and welcoming space for our first class of young learners. The backyard play area, which had gone a little too far back to nature for safe play, is now prepped for outdoor fun and fresh air.
Hundreds of books were sorted and stacked; toys of every type were cleaned and organized; cubbies, cabinets and the outdoor play sets were scrubbed; and hidden corners saw new light. The sheer amount of energy—and joy—from everyone who showed up reminded us of how lucky we are to live in Ithaca. We cannot wait for our fall session to start next week!
Clean Up Day
Clean Up Day
Clean Up Day

IWR Community Building Picnic

Stewart Park, Ithaca, NY, 14850

Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 11am-2pm

IWR Community Building Picnic

Saturday, July 15th 11-2pm
Stewart Park Pavilion, 1 James L. Gibbs Drive, Ithaca NY
We are seeking to build an inclusive community that feels welcoming to everyone, including people from all backgrounds. Whether you have been here for decades or you just arrived recently, please join us to celebrate our diversity and appreciate what connects all of us.

There will be food, music, games, and carousel rides for all ages.

If you would like to bring a dish to pass, you may follow these guidelines:
Beverage – last name begins with A-D
Salads & Sides – last name begins with E-K
Main Course – last name begins with L-S
Dessert – last name begins with T-Z

There will also be delicious contributions from generous local favorites like Gimme! CoffeeEmmy’s OrganicsWide Awake BakeryBa-Li Cravings and Sahara Mediterranean Restaurant!

We will raise awareness of the mission of Ithaca Welcomes Refugees, recognize volunteers, and clarify specific ways to get involved and learn more about the organization.

Please RSVP on the Facebook and spread the word. This event is free and open to the public.

Thank you and we hope to see you there!


Indivisible Documentary

Cinemapolis 120 E. Green Street. Ithaca, New York 14850

Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 7pm

Indivisible is an award-winning documentary about the fight to reunite families separated by deportation. Imagine growing up in the country you call home without legal status. Or not seeing your family for years because they were deported. Renata, Evelyn, and Antonio were young children when their parents brought them to the U.S. in search of a better life; they were teenagers when their families were deported. Today, they are known as Dreamers. Indivisible takes place at a pivotal moment in their lives, as they fight for a pathway to citizenship and a chance to be reunited with their loved ones. With the future of immigration reform uncertain, will they see their families again?

Indivisible premiered at Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA in March 2016 and has since played at 25 festivals, earning the following awards:
Best DocumentaryBoston International Film Festival
Best Documentary Kansas International Film Festival
Special Grand Jury Award for Inspirational FilmmakingArizona Int’l Film Festival
Best Social Issue DocumentaryAtlanta DocuFest

Indivisible will screen for the House of Representatives on July 14, 2017 and will have its English broadcast premiere in July 2017.

More information can be found here.

Share Our Table Dinner

Dewitt Park, Ithaca NY

Saturday, June 10, 2017 - 8-9:30 pm

Share our Table and meet your neighbors!  Come enjoy dinner and chat with local members of the Muslim community.  All are welcome to a community dinner (vegan options available) and dessert.  There is no cost, just the pleasure of your company.
Dinner will be served at 8:30 PM, this event is co-sponsored by The Tompkins County Tourism Program and MRC.

Citizens to Refugees: The Humans Caught in Syria’s Quagmire

First Presbyterian Church, 315 N. Cayuga Street, Dobbs Hall (Lower Level)

Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 3PM

Mural by Abu Malik al-Shami
​​Fellow, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University 2016-2017​
Associate Professor of Islamic World/Middle East History, Whitman College

Elyse Semerdjian has graciously offered to spend time with the Ithaca Welcomes Refugees community to share insight on the Syrian people, history, cultures, and customs through her eyes. Please join us for this unique learning opportunity!

8 Borders, 8 Days

Cinemapolis, 120 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 7pm to 9pm

8 Borders 8 Days

A single mother from Syria shows us the consequences of closing America’s doors to families fleeing war. With no answer to her application for resettlement in the US, and every other path to safety closed off, a smuggler’s raft to Europe was the only way out. 8 Borders, 8 Days is their story; the intimate details of why a mother is willing to risk her children’s lives at sea and an immersive experience of their eight-day journey to safety.

Join Ithaca Welcomes Refugees for a screening of 8 Borders, 8 Days, followed by a panel discussion featuring the film director Amanda Bailley and Ithaca Alderperson Ducson Nguyen.

The film is 60 minutes long and is in Arabic with English subtitles. Admission is free, with a recommended donation of $10 to offset the cost of the event.

Learn more about the film at

Community Welcoming Team Training

Dodds Hall at the First Presbyterian Church

Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 2PM - 4PM

The Community Welcoming Team is holding our “Community Welcoming Team Training” again! It will be held in Dodds Hall at the First Presbyterian Church. (If you come in through the small green door on Court St and down the stairs it is ahead on your left). This is a repeat of the large group training that we did in January at the First Presbyterian Church and the first step in working with the Community Welcoming Team. Please see below for other training requirements.

  • If you are interested in working with the Community Welcoming Team and did not attend the previously, please mark this training on your calendars!
  • For more information of what exactly the Community Welcoming Team’s roles are please see pages 18-20 of the Volunteer Packet.
Please also RSVP to to confirm your attendance (or to double check if you have/haven’t attended this training yet).

Training Requirements for Community Welcoming Team (CWT) members:

  1. All CWT volunteers: Community Welcoming Team Training ****THE MAY 13th TRAINING*** (Led by Training and Support)
  2. Conversational Interviews (Led by Training and Support-next round to be scheduled between May 15-26)
  3. Background checks for those who will have privileged information or specific access to refugee families (DMV check extra and necessary if you anticipate driving) (Through working group leaders)
  4. Cultural Orientation Group: Cultural Orientation Training (introductory and ongoing)
  5. Interpreters: Interpreter training