Somali Youth and Leaders Urge Openess
Picture this: A long, low building on the corner of Lake Street and Pillsbury in Minneapolis filled with Somali immigrants chatting, shopping, drinking spicy tea. At the Sahara Cafe in the Karmel Mall some have gathered to hear the broadcast of the new Egal Shidad program on preventing and treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
I was happy to be part of the goings-on—to watch as young women and men listened intently to what community leaders had to say about the issues surrounding STDs. After the taped portion of the show was done, producer Mukhtaar Gadaassaar asked for comments from the audience. Person after person called for more openess to discuss the diseases, treatment for them, and many mentioned the burden of shame that prevents many from getting the help they need.
Saeed Fahia, Executive Director of Confederation of Somali Community was on hand to give his support and words of encouragement. Janis Lane Ewart of KFAI, Lillian McDonald of ECHO, Sara Rohde of MIHV, all partners on the project were there, too. It was a great evening. Egal Shidad is doing what we at the NPO had hoped would be done—Somali people are making media that can help Somali people address health issues that are important to them.
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.