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May 9th African Community Conversation: An Open Community Thank You Letter

May 9th African Community Conversation: An Open Community Thank You Letter

(May 23, 2013) By: Abdullah Kiatamba
African Immigrant Services (AIS), its partners and community sponsors, as well as members of the planning team, express our deepest thanks and appreciation to you for participating in the African community conversation on civic engagement, held on Thursday May 9, 2013, at the City Council Chambers, in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. 

We are especially inspired that more than 350 of you--African immigrants, African-Americans, other racial and ethnic minorities, as well as community stakeholders—engaged in a spirited and thoughtful conversation focused on shifting participants from observers to active leaders, collectively addressing shared challenges. 

Your participation helped provide an opportunity for our communities of color in the Northwest suburbs of Hennepin County to not only set an agenda on initiatives they care deeply about but to also prioritize actions on issues that affect them. Our goal is simple: to help create more inclusive and prosperous communities in which all voices are valued, and where opportunities are shared equitably. 

We are honored by the contributions of our partners: The Bush Foundation, the Diversity Team of Brooklyn Park, the Diversity Department of North Hennepin Community College(NHCC), and the Northwest Civic Engagement Coalition. We are also grateful for the support of our community sponsors: Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM), The Advocates for Human Rights, Pro-USA, Inc. and the Guinean Association in Minnesota. 

The May 9 event and its outcomes would not have been possible without the tireless role of a diverse and talented 27-person team—a community partnership of volunteers and leaders drawn from a broad range of experiences and cultures.

We will shortly update you on phase two of our civic engagement initiative process, where specific actions will be taken on a list of shared goals identified by participants. 

If you missed the May 9th meeting and would like to get engaged in the process, please contact us at or at 612-388-4767/612-280-4695.

Two Media articles about the May 9 event can be found here: 

· (Check for Updates)

Note: Abdullah Kiatamba is the executive director of African Immigrant Services (AIS), a non-profit organization based in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. He can be reached at 612-388-4767.


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