For immediate release:

Over 50 Washington Organizations Affirm Their Support for Refugees and Immigrants


Seattle, WA, December 1 2016 - In response to emerging reports of hate speech and violence directed at refugee and immigrant communities, over 50 local organizations and community leaders have signed a statement articulating their support of targeted communities. This statement, signed by a wide variety of large and small organizations, reaffirms the organizations and the United States’ historic commitment to accepting and valuing refugees and immigrants. 

The statement of support (see attached) was drafted by the Northwest Refugee and Immigrant Health Coalition (NWIRHC), a group of doctors, social workers, educators, resettlement workers, public health practitioners, and community organizers who have been working together since 2011 to improve the health of refugees and asylum seekers in Western Washington.Concerned for their well-being, and in response to harassment and fears expressed by their clients/patients/community, they felt compelled to issue a statement of support for them in the face of a rise of hate speech particularly directed against Muslims, refugees, and undocumented immigrants.

In the words of Dr. Suzinne Pak-Gorstein, a coalition member and the medical director of the Pediatric Clinic at Harborview Medical Center, “It is critical that everyone we serve knows that our organizations treat all people with dignity, respect and courtesy regardless of religion, color, national origin, or race, and that we are a safe and supportive place.”


To learn more about this statement or to find out how participating agencies are working to support and help protect immigrant and refugee communities, please check out the coalition website: or contact Beth Farmer at 206-683-4512 / 


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