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From “No Time To Dream” to “The American Dream”: refugee stories in spotlight as Thomson Reuters and Women’s Refugee Commission team up for 25th anniversary campaign

The often unheard voices of refugees and displaced women and children will be given a new platform thanks to a campaign from the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) in partnership with Thomson Reuters.

The year-long Voices of Courage campaign, which marks the WRC's 25th anniversary of advocating for refugee women and children across the world, will shine a spotlight on people displaced by war, persecution and natural disaster, as well as promote women's leadership in its many forms.

After spending “two Christmases, two birthdays, two Halloweens” in detention, where there was “no time for me to dream,” Lorena is now married and building a life with her husband here in the United States, where she says, “the American Dream is happening right now.”

As the capstone event of the Voices of Courage campaign, a distinguished panel of women leaders from the business, charity and public policy communities will gather to discuss their efforts to help women advance politically, economically and socially – from the boardroom to the refugee camp – and contribute ideas towards a manifesto for change.

The panel discussion, “Advancing Women: Leadership in Our Lives,” will be held at Thomson Reuters Times Square office on May 20th, with guests anticipated to include 100 corporate CEOs, UN ambassadors, NGO leaders and philanthropists.

The Women's Refugee Commission will also honor the outstanding work of three former refugees at its 25th anniversary Voices of Courage Awards Luncheon on May 1st at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City, of which Thomson Reuters is the leading sponsor.

Three-time Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep and Oscar-nominated actress and director Liv Ullmann (WRC co-founder and honorary chair) will share stories of refugee resilience and leadership, while Dr. Sima Samar, head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, and Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai (via video) will present awards to the WRC honorees – Liberian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee, Chernor Bah from Sierra Leone and Mary Tal from Cameroon.

Sarah Costa, Executive Director of the Women's Refugee Commission, said:

“The WRC is delighted to be able to mark our 25th anniversary year by highlighting refugees' stories and advancing women's leadership in partnership with Thomson Reuters – and by paying tribute to our outstanding Voices of Courage honorees, who have devoted their lives to fighting for a better future for displaced women and children everywhere.”

“For 25 years, the Women's Refugee Commission has worked tirelessly to understand the challenges facing displaced women and children, and we will continue to amplify the voices of those who too often do not have a say in decisions that shape their lives and advocate for positive change within the humanitarian community.”

Patsy Doerr, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion/Corporate Social Responsibility of Thomson Reuters said:

“The strength of Thomson Reuters global business is built on providing information and services that foster a more transparent, ethical and empowered world. Championing women as equal partners in our workplace and creating sustainable, collaborative relationships with the communities in which we live and work are strategic imperatives to the long-term success of our organization.”

“We are pleased to congratulate the WRC on its 25th anniversary, and proud to sponsor the Voices of Courage campaign and awards luncheon.”


About the Women's Refugee Commission:
The Women's Refugee Commission is a research and advocacy organization that works to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by war, persecution and natural disaster.

About Thomson Reuters:
Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization.

Contact: Melissa Gurumurthy, Women's Refugee Commission, on 212-551-2943 / MelissaG@wrcommission.org