Art . Fashion. Food. Music/Dance .
One Journey was founded in 2017 by two American immigrants who wanted to share with others the positive, welcoming reception they received as newcomers. Driven by grassroots volunteers, our team is a made up of nonprofit gurus, industry stalwarts, and local DCists, many of whom are refugees.
To shift the narrative about refugees in America by connecting people through the shared languages of humanity: art, food, fashion, music and dance.
No 1. To awaken a sleeping giant: America’s big heart for refugees.
We are launching a national movement for compassion and empathy that will inspire all to turn their faces and hearts to this refugee crisis.
No 2. To counter the nativist backlash and political actions that threaten refugee support.
One Journey is shifting the narrative about refugees by celebrating their courage, stories, talents, and remarkable contributions.
No 3. To spread our message: refugees benefit our society.
Helping refugees is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do!
We live amidst the largest refugee crisis in history. More than 65 million people have been displaced from their homes and 22 million mothers, fathers, children, and neighbors have fled to other countries to escape war or persecution. Each has a unique story to tell, but all are on one journey – to find hope, peace and prosperity for themselves and their families.
People feel overwhelmed by the crisis so One Journey is facilitating pathways towards engagement and empathy. We’re creating awareness about the global refugee crisis, and shifting the story to one of social and economic advantage. Join the movement.
The One Journey Festival was created by two American immigrants - one a former refugee - who want to share their positive, welcoming experiences as newcomers with others. Grassroots volunteers across the metro region from the business, non-profit, academic, multi-lateral community are powering the necessary administration, fundraising, programming, communications, and logistics support for our festival and for what we hope will become an enduring movement.
Wendy chan, Co-chair
is the co-founder of NOVA Friends of Refugees, a grassroots coalition dedicated to helping and welcoming refugees. Wendy immigrated to the US from China when she was twelve years old. Her humble, blue-collar immigrant background helped her appreciate the courage and tenacity of the refugees and see the talents they could bring to America. Wendy leads the 600-member coalition in helping refugees through advocacy, social services, and community engagement.
Vanda Berninger, co-chair
immigrated to Germany in 1991 as a civil war refugee from Croatia, former Yugoslavia. In Germany, Vanda served as the spokesperson for immigrant and refugee policy for a major German political party in Frankfurt/ Main and the Executive Director for the Organization Against Sexual and Racist Exploitation. Currently, Vanda leads strategic partnership effort to influence public perception of refugees in positive/celebratory way, identify innovative partnership solutions for humanitarian responses, and develop long-term strategy to increase public understanding of the global displacement crisis.
molly bAUCH, Grassroots Fundraising Lead
“This festival is as much about the people and cultures we’re celebrating as it is about the people and culture we want to be. Innovative, resilient, fiercely committed to freedom and pursuit of better lives – we see ourselves in that light – and in those who had the grit to find refuge here.”
Kenneth Speicher, EVENTS Lead
"There are so many amazing stories about the positive contributions refugees are making. The 1 Journey Festival will put a national spotlight on them, and I am thrilled to be a part of it."
AIDA MURAD, Communications & Marketing Co-Lead
"We all go through struggles and I believe we all deserve a second chance. I've been blessed with my second chance and aim to do whatever I can to facilitate someone else's second chance."
Maggie miller, marketplace Lead & Volunteer Coordinator
"From my hometown of Seattle, to camps in Greece, to here in DC, I've seen firsthand the incredible courage and culture that migrants contribute and am so excited to be a part of celebrating these triumphs in our local community."
Julia Duncan, Logistics and Public Relations Lead
“All of our families, at one point in time, were immigrants to America. That’s what makes the promise of our country so inspiring and welcoming. This festival will celebrate our diversity and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Victoria Flamant, Call for Action Lead
"Every action - no matter how big or small - makes a difference. Join us on June 2nd for a day of celebration and action for refugees."
Jocelyn UenG, Communications & Marketing CO-LEAD
"If you aspire to be the change you want to see in the world, then take action and don’t stop until you see that change."
Dahlia MARY, GLOBAL MARKET LEAD
“I am a former refugee, I went through the ‘ongoing’ struggles and challenges of being forced to leave home – I am grateful for my second chance in life in this amazing country! I have survived three wars and today I can’t but live peace through helping others by paying back the debt of gratitude”
Bianca Malhotra, Food Trucks Lead
"We all have stories. This festival is about sharing those stories with loved ones and new friends. It’s about being kind and celebrating the journeys of our neighbors, as each person is fighting their own battle."
MEERA Chakravarthy, MUSIC Lead
"When art is used as a platform to express thoughts and understand crisis, people achieve a state of empathy and connection that is hard to find elsewhere. As an artist, I am honored to be a part of helping this mission come to fruition."
In addition we have an incredible list of super volunteers including: