Immigrant & Refugee Justice

The Immigrant & Refugee Justice Taskforce (IRJ/”urge”) works to support immigrants and refugees in the WNY community. Our goals include: making WNY a safer place by addressing issues of discrimination and assisting immigrant and refugee communities in navigating systems when there are language and cultural differences. We are consistently in the process of defining any areas where immigrants and refugees are not receiving support in WNY in order to more specifically tailor our goals and objectives.


TF Email:
WNYPC Google Voice (text or leave a voicemail): 716-253-1486
Join our Facebook Group here.
Check out featured events & campaigns here.

We have collaborated directly with the immigrant and refugee community, as well as with allied organizations such as the Latin American Solidarity Committee, Prisoners’ Rights Task Force, Racial Justice Task Force, Resist Militarism!, Buffalo Public Schools and Say Yes Buffalo at Lafayette International Community School, Jericho Road Community Health Center / Vive Shelter, Stitch Buffalo, Justice for Migrant Families, and the West Side Youth Development Coalition at Buffalo State College.  We have also supported various Value Our Families initiatives. Continued collaboration with these groups among others bolster our efforts to directly support communities in need.

Join IRJ!

We’re looking for member volunteers! If you would like to help manifest any or all of these goals by getting involved with the task force – or if you have ideas of your own that could be of benefit to the community – please reach out!

Weekly Vigil for People Detained by ICE

*** Currently on hiatus. ***

We meet every Thursday from 5:00 – 6:00 PM for a vigil in support of people detained by ICE in front of the local ICE field offices at the Delaware North building (250 Delaware Ave., at the NW corner of Chippewa).

Please bring your own signs and spirit of solidarity. We will not stay silent!

#ReleaseThemNow #FamiliesBelongTogether #AbolishICE #CloseTheCamps #DetentionIsDeadly #NeverAgainIsNow

NEW! Weekly Digital Rallies

Join IRJ in its new weekly digital rally to show support for our immigrant and refugee communities. On any social media platform, share a photo of yourself holding your rally sign with a message of support using the hashtag #IRJtoRally.

Monthly Taskforce Meetings

*** Currently on hiatus. ***

Join us every third Thursday from 6:00 – 7:00 PM for an IRJ task force meeting to discuss topics relevant to immigrant and refugee communities.

May 2022:

Victorious Women of Stitch Buffalo

May is International Victorious Women’s Month, along with the return of the WNY Women’s March! It is the perfect time to shed light on the victorious women of Stitch Buffalo and all the good they do for their local and worldwide communities.

For a minimum donation of $20, you can become a member of the WNY Peace Center AND receive a Social Justice Peace Pin made by one of the women of Stitch Buffalo! The pins are all uniquely made by different women from different countries, in order to support social justice for all.

We ask that you wear your Social Justice Peace Pins the day of the Women’s March on May 15th, as we march for Solidarity, Victory, & Healing!

Spring 2022 Fundraiser:

#IRJ2Learn Benefitting Journey’s End

With your support, the Immigrant & Refugee Justice (IRJ/”urge”) Task Force of the WNY Peace Center was able to to provide PPE – including thousands of high-quality masks (KN95s), disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and Corsi-Rosenthal filtration boxes to five classrooms at Journey’s End Refugee Services (JERS) so that adult language learners in our community can learn safely and confidently in person!

Special thank you to the Erie County Department of Health!

March 2022 Webinar:

Conversations about the Middle East:

How Women Can Be Vital Agents of Peace & Change

Join the Western New York Peace Center for a special panel discussion episode of Talking Peace Radio, featuring:

With host Vicki Ross, moderator Sameria Mbili, plus a live Q&A!

Organized by Peace Action NYS-Canisius College Chapter and the Immigrant & Refugee Justice (IRJ) Task Force of the WNY Peace Center.

Learn more at

February 2022 Vigil:

Love to Afghanistan

Vigil organized by the WNY Peace Center and hosted by Women In Black WNY in solidarity with the long-suffering people of Afghanistan, now facing the worst crisis ever!

After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, the Afghan people are suffering more than ever. Hunger could kill more now than in 20 years of war. We urge all members of Congress to call on the Biden Administration to unfreeze the frozen funds, relax sanctions, and increase humanitarian aid.

Please call Senators Schumer & Gillibrand’s offices via the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.

November 2021: LASC Peace Coffeehouse:

Border Justice Issues in WNY

Panel discussion with Justice for Migrant Families on local immigration issues – highlighting the Batavia Detention Center, essential Farm Workers, & Dreamers.

Co-Sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Immigrant & Refugee Justice taskforce of the WNYPC.

This is the Latin American Solidarity Committee‘s November Peace Coffeehouse. Join LASC the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00pm in the Canisius College Science Building (Main & Jefferson near the metro). Free; masks required.

February 2021: Film Screening

Minari (2020)

Join IRJ for a special screening of this Golden Globe-awarded film written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung; starring Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Scott Haze, with Yuh-Jung Youn and Will Patton. “A Korean American family moves to an Arkansas farm in search of its own American dream. Amidst the challenges of this new life in the strange and rugged Ozarks, they discover the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.” Watch the trailer here. On Zoom (Meeting ID: 850 5581 8012 Passcode: 475716).

January 2021 IRJ-JFMF-RRRN Vigil:

End Immigration Detention!

Justice for Migrant Families and Rochester Rapid Response Network members joined IRJ at our weekly vigil to uplift the a call put out by the Abolish ICE NY-NJ Coalition to end immigration detention. This call to action was to amplify the voices of the hunger strikers currently being held in solitary at Batavia, NY, and to stand in solidarity with all those currently held in detention and affected by the violence that ICE inflicts. Recordings of demands from hunger strikers were played.

December 2020 Radio Show:

Talking Peace with the WNY Peace Center

IRJ was featured on a special migrant justice episode of WNYPC’s weekly radio show, Talking Peace! The show aired on WBNY 91.3FM on Monday, December 21st and was streamed live on Facebook during the December 16th taping – watch here. Featuring guests Juweria Dahir, External Affairs Mgr, City of Buffalo (originally from East Africa) and Andrea Kuettel, Stitch Buffalo Board Member.

Topics included: immigrant & refugee justice; Stitch Buffalo’s employment opportunities for migrants, beautiful wares for sale (embroidered masks, clothes, accessories, etc.); differences & similarities between immigrants & refugees; racism in immigration policies; strengths of immigrants/refugees (work ethics, determination, cultural enrichment of larger community); Immigrant & Refugee Justice Taskforce of WNYPC prospective campaigns, community service

November 2020 Campaign:

Peace Pins for Social Justice

IRJ collaborated with Stitch Buffalo in the sales of their Peace Pins for Social Justice! Throughout the second week of November (including during WNYPC’s 53rd Annual Annual Fundraiser featuring Dr. Cornel West!), the sale of these pins supported both the artist and the WNY Peace Center.

(You can still purchase these pins, along with many other beautiful items, at Stitch Buffalo’s storefront or their Etsy shop.)

October 2020 Watch Party:

Immigration Nation

IIRJ hosted a watch party on behalf of/benefiting Justice for Migrant Families. (You can still donate to JFMF here.)

We screened an episode of Immigration Nation, the six-part documentary series directed by Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz. (See the trailer below.)

Immigration Nation official Netflix trailer

September 2020 Webinar:

Congregate Living in the Age of COVID-19

Info session on what is needed to keep people safe from COVID-19 while in congregate living situations. Zoom meeting co-hosted by the WNY Peace Center; Immigrant and Refugee Justice (IRJ), a task force of the WNY Peace Center; Jericho Road Community Health Center (JRCHC); and Vive Shelter.

See the Zoom recording here!

Featured panelists included:

  • Myron Glick, M.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer, JRCHC
  • Anna Ireland Mongo, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, Vive Shelter

With special guest:

  • Heron Simmonds, Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board (covering Erie County Holding Center and the Alden Corrections Facility)

#IRJtoRead Summer 2020 Book Club

We will announce a book at each monthly meeting and discuss our thoughts on what we read during the following month’s meeting. You can find the eBooks for free on the Libby/Overdrive apps using your library card.


We urge you to attend Riverside Salem‘s weekly meeting on Sunday, December 6th, 2020 at 4 PM via Zoom (Meeting ID: 363 944 0486 and Passcode: 719284). They are hosting a book-author discussion with Azmat Ashraf of REFUGEE – Unsettled as I Roam: My Endless Search for a Home.

Read the book here.

Read David Johnson’s chapter on Bangladesh here.