Copyright 2005

[ June 23rd 2005 ]

United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have launched the 5th Annual World Refugee Day Celebrations at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. Secretary Rice and Goodwill Ambassador Jolie presented awards to three winners of the 4th Annual World Refugee Day Poster Contest, which Jolie sponsors, according to UNHCR.

This year's winners were: Jessica Shenoi from Tulsa, Oklahoma; Vicente Echevarria from Des Plaines, Illinois; and Katherine Ricker from Phoenix, Arizona. Admiring the posters, Rice said, "The young poster contest winners we applaud today have answered the call of conscience in an exceptionally creative way."

Jolie eloquently and passionately reminded everyone that the United States was founded by refugees. "One of America's most inspiring symbols is the Statue of Liberty," she said. "She is the Mother of Exiles with her promise of refuge to the world's tired, poor, to those huddled masses yearning to breathe free, she welcomed millions of 'new Americans' over the years."

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