Citizenship Inductions led by Founder and CEO of Chobani –


Many Cultures, One Community.


The Center (Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees) invites the community

to join its celebration of World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 12:00 to 4:00 PM at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Jorgensen Athletic Center, Utica, NY.


The World Refugee Day celebration in Utica, NY will begin with a U.S. Citizens Ceremony and keynote. This year’s keynote speaker, Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani and the driving force behind America’s No. 1 yogurt brand, will commence the citizenship ceremony at noon. Ulukaya, originally from Turkey and of Kurdish descent, has forged an immensely successful career in business and philanthropy. His work on the refugee crisis and his innovative approach to business have garnered him worldwide recognition and honorable distinctions. 


The event will feature a collection of educational displays providing insights into refugee resettlement, the refugee experience, and the contributions refugees have made to Utica and the region. There will be a wide range of activities for all ages, including culturally diverse music and dance performances, a fashion show, impersonators, food trucks, and more.


In addition, area employers will host a job fair in the MVCC field house. “Promoting equality and opportunity is our core focus. We act as one of the essential links of a solid chain changing the trajectory of a refugee’s life,” said Shelly Callahan, Executive Director of The Center.  


World Refugee Day ( was created by the United Nations to provide a forum to recognize and honor the courage and resilience of the world’s refugee community. The Center would like to thank its generous sponsors of Utica’s World Refugee Day celebration—Chobani, Bank of Utica, Oneida Nation Enterprises, Lavoda, CNY Arts, The Upstate Institute at Colgate University, Community Memorial Hospital, The Fountainhead Group, and host site MVCC. For more information on sponsorships, visit



For more information on the event, visit the organization’s website: This event is free and open to the public.