My wife, Julie, had an idea. Would refugees to Utah feel more at home if they were part of this year’s Days of 47 Parade and celebration? After all, she thought, this place was built by refugees and they’re just like modern-day pioneers where the pioneers were the earliest refugees.
So, she joined with local refugee advocates and “floated” the idea of Utah refugees being part of the parade. But how to explain the parade?
After she showed them some YouTube videos, the refugees caught the excitement. The Days of ’47 float they are building will feature Burundi drummers and Bhutanese dancers. You can read more about it here.
We all want to belong, as Utahns, no matter where we came from, what traditions we follow, or what language we first learned to speak. One of the best parts of my job as Salt Lake County mayor, is meeting with people of all backgrounds and interests, and hearing their stories, and learning about their hopes and dreams for the future.
Utah is now home for some 50,000 refugees. They bring diversity, hope and courage to our community. I’m proud to call them my neighbors and I want to continue making Salt Lake County a thriving metropolitan region that is a great place to live for all of us.