Chobani will host the World Refuge Forum on Aug. 10 to bring together leaders who are pushing for stronger government policies, as well as providing humanitarian support and employment pathways for refugees in the U.S. and abroad.

The forum will take place as the world prepares to mark one year since the U.S. announced the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and six months into the Russian war on Ukraine. As such, discussions will focus on the dire situations for Afghans and Ukrainians alike, as well as the overall challenges confronting refugees around the globe.

“I have worked alongside my refugee brothers and sisters for many years, and they are a testament to the power of the human spirit,” said Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya. “I am grateful that so many people are now paying attention to the refugee crisis, and we cannot let this moment pass without change. It is critical that we make sure our words translate into action, and that we work together on concrete solutions.”

Hosted by Chobani, advocates, policymakers, and humanitarian agencies will discuss the social, political, and economic challenges facing refugees today, and the larger implications such as the global food crisis. With this forum, Chobani intends to inspire companies to hire refugees and generate support for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide much-needed humanitarian relief.  

 Speakers so far include:

  • Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder & CEO, Chobani; Founder, Tent Partnership for Refugees 
  • U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) 
  • U.S. Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) 
  • Jay Collins, vice chairman, Citi; Tent Partnership for Refugees Advisory Council; Save the Children Trustee 
  • Dora Chomiak, president, Razom 

This virtual event will take place on August 10 at 1 p.m. eastern time and is free and open to the public.

Chobani has a long history of hiring refugees, starting in the company’s earliest days when Ulukaya heard refugees resettled in Utica, N.Y., and hired them to work in the nearby plant. Today, Chobani employees are from numerous backgrounds and lived experiences, including people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, Somalia, and Bhutan who escaped violent and difficult experiences in their home countries and resettled in places like upstate New York and Idaho. 

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Chobani has worked closely with non-profit partners such as Razom, Save the Children, and The Center for Refugees in Utica, New York to address the needs on the ground and to assist with preparations for Ukrainian refugees resettling in the U.S. Ulukaya also visited the Ukraine-Poland border with Tent and UNHCR in April.