Today the Bush Foundation announced its 2016 Bush Fellows. It said, “In 2016 the Bush Foundation will invest in 24 individuals with records of achievement and extraordinary potential to make significant contributions in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.
The Bush Fellowship is distinctive in its flexibility, allowing Fellows to articulate what they need to become better leaders and providing them with the support to make it happen. Fellows receive up to $100,000 over 12–24 months to pursue learning experiences that help them develop leadership skills and attributes. The Fellowship can be used for advanced education, networking opportunities, and access to leadership resources, workshops and trainings.”
All Things Somali has complied the profiles of the four Muslim Minnesotans who won The Fellowship from the Bush Foundation’s website. Three are Somalis.
Vadnais Heights, MN—When Mukhtar Ibrahim emigrated from East Africa to the U.S. in 2005, he spoke little English. Today, as a reporter with Minnesota Public Radio, he is the first Somali-American journalist in the state to work at a major news outlet. He is also the founder of Sahan Journal, an independent news source for East Africans and Somalis who live in the Twin Cities metro area. He wants to close the cultural gap between long-time and new Americans through more balanced, in-depth and fair storytelling about immigrants. With his Bush Fellowship, Mukhtar will complete a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University to advance his knowledge of long-form narrative writing, investigative reporting, digital storytelling and radio documentaries.
Brooklyn Park, MN—Nausheena Hussain is immersed in civic life, serving on boards, her local charter commission and as an election judge. She founded Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE), a leadership development nonprofit, to elevate Muslim women. Nausheena continues to examine why there are so few Muslim women in positions of power and wants to understand what could potentially be holding them back. She will use her Bush Fellowship to strengthen her nonprofit leadership and management abilities, seeking out mentors at the intersection of gender, race and religious identity.
Savage, MN—As one of Minnesota’s civic leaders, Hamse Warfa is concerned about structural integration challenges new immigrants face, particularly immigrants in the Somali community. He bridges cultures through leadership and peacebuilding training, and wants to increase his ability to influence cross-cultural understanding. With his Bush Fellowship, he will develop a new platform that links more immigrants to mainstream systems on issues of education, health, economic empowerment and civic leadership while leading civic conversations that create more vibrant communities for all Minnesotans.
Minneapolis, MN—In 1992, Abdi Roble found a manual camera at a flea market. Captivated, he began taking photography courses at a community college and documenting the Somali immigrant and refugee experience. Ten years later, he founded the Somali Documentary Project with more than 10,000 images of Somali people in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Saint Cloud, Willmar and Pelican Rapids. Through his Bush Fellowship, he will acquire the skills to create a professional archive that digitizes and catalogues these images — the first of its kind in the world. Guided by the motto “Ummad aan dhigaal lahayni, waa dhaayo aan arag lahayn,” – “A nation without archives is like eyes without sight,” he also seeks leadership training to support and inspire young people to document and archive their communities.
For complete list of The 2016 Bush Fellowshi, please visit the Bush Foundation’s website: Click Here