by Chai. News
Neighbors and immigrant community leaders, led by Minneapolis School Board Director, Siad Ali gathered at the Phillips Community Center to reflect on the message of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Director Ali identified the importance of STEM education to help close the achievement gap and called for more policy attention to this important strategy. Other leaders emphasized the need for communities to come together in their neighborhoods to reflect on Dr. King’s message and its relevance today. There was also a very clear call to rise above personal, political and ethnic differences to seek common ground to help build economic and political wealth in the minority and immigrant communities.
Community leaders present were Robert Albee, Lisa Clemons, Said Garaad, Councilmember Abdi Warsame, Fozia Ali, Mohamud Noor, Jibril Afyare, Hussein Farah, Abdiqani Farah, Kimberly Caprini, Bruce Corrie, Jesse Winkler, Joe Gonzalez, and Mire Maxamed.
The Governor’s Commission on the Rev. Dr. Martin King Jr gathered at the state level at the Ordway Theatre in Saint Paul. Brandi Powell, KSTP-TV News Anchor and James Burroughs, Chief Inclusion Officer for the State of Minnesota introduced the program and dignitaries. Apart from greetings from Governor Mark Dayton, Lt. Governor Tina Smith, Senator Klobuchar and Mayor Chris Coleman, there were musical performances by the Sounds of Blackness and an inspiring speech by Caroline Wanga, Chief Diversity Officer, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Target Corporation. Benjamin Mchie, Executive Director of the African American Registry was honored by the Lifetime Achievement Award. Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) and Luis Moreno, Vice President of Marketing for Synchrony Financial were honored for their distinguished service.
Senator Foung Hawj was at the Ordway celebration and appreciated neighbors and communities coming together around the message of Dr. King, “I celebrated with a large group over breakfast at the Progressive Baptist Church, with the state at the Ordway and now I am on my way to celebrate with neighbors at the Eastside Pizzeria.”
“It is always such an inspiring day,” said Gene Gelgelu, member of the Governor’s MLK Commission. “Inspiring both because of the life and message of Dr, King as well as when people of diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate and renew their commitment to keep their eyes on the prize.”