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This Week in Buffalo: Rise from the margins

Buffalo's refugee community is ripe with stories of courage, uncertainty, separation and freedom, and there's a desire for more of these journeys to be told, especially in light of legislation that tightens the reins on how many refugees and immigrants the City of Good Neighbors may accept.

The News' long-read series "From Buffalo to Burma" is the most in-depth piece detailing the refugee experience, but shorter features on Kenyan refugee Habiba Mohamed and Iraqi tailor Abbas Abbas home in on the achievements of two Buffalo refugees.

The event lineup for this week is led by a pair of events that supports Buffalonians in the margins, as well as the people who stick up for them.

WNY Refugee Film Festival screenings: "The Lost Dream," at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at Journey's End (2495 Main St., Suite 530). The 8 p.m. slot has already sold out. Tickets are available for $20. Another showing, at 7:30 p.m. April 12, still has room, too.

The WNY Refugee Film Festival, the lone major fundraiser for Journey's End Refugee Services this year, still has half of its season left, including one documentary Thursday and Friday that tells the story of two Iraqi refugees who've come to America on Special Immigrant Visas after serving the U.S. military as interpreters/translators.

It's an uncomfortable story, for sure, but a real one that touches on loyalty, transition and acceptance, among other bigger themes.

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VOICE Buffalo awards, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 11 in Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (153 Franklin St.). Tickets are $60 and are available here.

VOICE-Buffalo is social justice group committed to serving the marginalized communities of Buffalo, and recognizing those who put forth the effort to give under-represented people a voice. Betty Jean Grant, who spent 18 years in the Erie County Legislature, and Elder Kelly Diane Galloway from Ramp Global Missions will be among those honored, as well as Jericho Road Community Health Center for its community commitment.

[Related: Smiles at Ramp Global Missions Gala | Smiles at Jericho Road holiday party]

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Sips, Suds and Sweets, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 11 in Fox Run (One Fox Run Lane, Orchard Park). Tickets are $50 and are available here.

Live in luxury on Thursday at Fox Run, where a fundraiser for Senior Wishes will lay out wines, beers and desserts from more than 25 local businesses. Basket raffles, the fairly unusual Wagon of Cheer raffle and a wine pull are on the agenda, while a complimentary candy buffet is a sweet twist for the event.

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Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour, 7 p.m. Monday, April 8 at Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.). Cost is $7 at the door.

There was healthy debate on Gusto's Facebook page about whether "The Joshua Tree" is U2's best album; some argued for "The Unforgettable Fire," released three years prior.

The News' Jeff Miers and 97 Rock's Anita West will present a vinyl listening session of "The Joshua Tree," lead a discussion on the album and then a group of local musicians will perform their own interpretations of Bono and friends' America-themed album. Read the full Vinyl Happy Hour preview.

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Staging Fascism, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at UB Anderson Gallery (One Martha Jackson Place). No cost listed.

Stimulate your brain and sense of historical tension in this panel discussion at the UB Anderson Gallery. Two visiting multimedia artists from Berlin, Germany, and one from Rome, Italy will be joined by three members of the University at Buffalo art, history and architecture departments to discuss how historically charged subjects and sites - stemming from the era of Fascism - are now reflected in art, and how they're perceived from an artist's point of view.

The one-night discussion is an extension of the gallery's current exhibition, "Italian Rationalist Architecture in Contemporary German and Italian Art."

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Frozen Four festivities, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 10; 2:30 to 11:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11 in KeyBank Center and Alumni Plaza. Tickets required to see the college hockey games, but most other activities are free of charge. Runs through Saturday.

The last four NCAA Division I college hockey programs alive in the 16-team national tournament will descend upon Buffalo for the Frozen Four, a spectacle that draws plenty of NHL scouts, coaches and top media members in the sport. Minnesota Duluth, Providence, Massachusetts and Denver are the four men's hockey teams coming to town.

As a blue-collar hockey town, Buffalo prides itself as a welcoming host for these events - similar to the World Juniors or the NHL Draft Combine - and a fan fest, autograph signings, chance to mingle with ESPN personalities John Buccigross and Barry Melrose and more add to the excitement of the final days of the USCHO season. Here's the full schedule.

[Related: ESPN anchor Buccigross' company helps give life to Niagara County girls hockey]

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Burgers to Benefit LLS, 4 to 10 p.m. Monday, April 8 at Remington Tavern (184 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda). Reservations may be made here.

Monday is weekly burger night at Remington, but this week's version is special because it supports the fundraising quest of Niagara Wheatfield senior Samantha Maghrak, who's a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Student of the Year. This program

Maghrak, a local student-athlete who's committed to SUNY Brockport to play soccer, will host several events over the course of the seven-week program. Proceeds from the specialty Savage Burger ($14, an 8-ounce beef patty topped with cheese, Texas hot sauce, sliced hot dogs and onion rings, served with fries) will be donated to Maghrak's cause. Live music will be performed by Geno McManus and Frank Grizanti between 6 and 9 p.m.

[Photos: Smiles at Remington Tavern Christmas party]

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Slow Roll Schedule Release, 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 8 at the Broadway Market (999 Broadway). No cost to attend.

The season schedule for Slow Roll Buffalo will be unveiled in the Broadway Market, announcing 26 Monday night rides among the 40 total for the next six months. Buffalo News reporter Aaron Besecker teased the May ride schedule in his short write-up.

Slow Roll's premise is simple: each week, bicycle riders - regardless of ability or experience - gather together to roll through a different neighborhood, promoting sustainability, community awareness, a healthy lifestyle and camaraderie among riders. Each ride typically concludes with a brief party with live music and some food.

[Related: Smiles from first Slow Roll of 2018]

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Sold-out: Tyler Perry's Madea in Shea's Buffalo Theatre.

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5 events to look forward to this weekend

Buffalo's Greatest '80s Party
Taste of Paradise in Botanical Gardens
WBLK Spotlight Live in Shea's 710 Theatre
Make It Last Forever Adult Prom in Buffalo Grand Hotel
Record Store Day at several locations

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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