Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Tuesday was World Refugee Day, a time to commemorate strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. According to the UN, a record 65-and-a-half million people are displaced.

"The number of refugees that we have accepted into this country is pathetic," said Caroline Negal.

Refugee resettlement has recently been at the center of heated political debate about immigration. So, as part of World Refugee Day, the Carolina Peace Resource Center held a panel discussion about the global refugee crisis.

"Almost 20 people every minute are leaving their homes because of war and conflict," said Debbie Billings, an active member of the Caroline Peace Refugee Task Force.

Cal Hilsman sees these families on a daily basis. He works with the Carolina Survivors Clinic, which provides physical and mental health care to refugees, who are survivors of torture.

"They've survived probably the most brutal types of things a human being can imagine. It's really rewarding to see how resilient these people are," he said.

Back in 2013, Thomas Hammond spent a month in Turkey, photographing Syrian refugees.

"In a situation like that, everything is just extreme. Some of the good things are some of the greatest things you've ever seen and the bad things are some of the worst things you've ever seen," said Hammond.

Hammond and Hilsman both have first-hand experience with refugees and they hope others will get that same experience.

"Hopefully with exposure, we'll realize we are so much more similar than different," said Hilsman.

If you'd like to be part of the Carolina Peace Resource Center, visit

If you'd like to be part of the Carolina Survivors Clinic, call Cal at 864-415-1045.