New Routes partner leads Mpls. meeting that seeks to curb recruitment of young Somali men
Minnesota is home to more Somali-Americans than any other state. MPR reporters Laura Yuen and Sasha Aslanian have been covering the Somali community and its struggles to settle in Minnesota while overcoming negative attention from terrorism in their native Somalia, pirates and local discrimination issues.
MPR reports that teachers, community groups and families will gather Tuesday, August 11 in Minneapolis to hear how they can prevent the future recruitment of Somali-American youth for so-called "jihadist activities."
Authorities are investigating the disappearances of about 20 Somali-American men from the Twin Cities, and believe the men may have left to join an extremist militia fighting in Somalia's civil war.
Saeed Fahia of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota will lead the presentation. Fahia says the disappearances have alarmed many Somali parents who came to the U.S. to keep their children safe.
"Traditionally in Somalia, you send your child to school, he'll turn up good. You send your child to the mosque, he'll turn up good," Fahia said. "But now parents are concerned: 'What has happened? Who has influenced my child to go back?'"
Fahia says the actions of those roughly 20 men have prompted parents to keep a closer eye on their kids and communicate with them more effectively.
His presentation is just one of several workshops hosted by the Burnsville-based nonprofit Eftin, which aims to address the educational, social and health needs of African refugees and immigrant families and their children.
Watch and Listen
New Research & Recommendations
This report (PDF 3.8MB) offers guidance for community organizations and those who fund social change in how best to harness the power of local media-making for community health improvement. Spanish-language version is now available. Una versión en español de este informe esta en la web.