Office of Sixth Ward City Council Member Abdi Warsame
(MINNEAPOLIS) Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame returned from a White House summit where he stressed the importance of jobs in improving Somali American communities and countering violent extremism.
Council Member Warsame joined U.S Attorney Andrew M. Luger and a group of 15 Twin Cities Somali community leaders, government and law enforcement representatives at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism on Feb. 18. The delegation presented the Twin Cities plan entitled “Building Community Resilience.”
The plan includes a call for expanded youth programming, mentoring, higher education scholarships, new job opportunities and training, and increased engagement between religious leaders and Somali youth. This effort seeks to bring together community-based organizations and local partners, including the Minneapolis and St. Paul school systems, interfaith organizations, nonprofits and NGOs, as well as state, county, and local governments. In addition to government sources of funding, philanthropic and private partners have committed to participate in the pilot program.
“Jobs and positive opportunities are absolutely essential to improving Somali American communities,” said Council Member Warsame in a statement that addressed national and international delegations. “Increased employment will help people in the community lift themselves out of poverty and give new opportunities to the next generation. Broadening the skill-base and building human capacity helps alleviate issues of unemployment, underemployment, lack of homeownership and poverty.” He continued by adding, “What my community needs is no less than a ‘Marshall Plan’ tailor-made for their employment challenge. This is what we’re working on building, our plan includes extended skill sets; work force development, mentorship, and job training with placement programs intended to significantly increase the number of jobs available.”
During his visit to Washington D.C., Council Member Warsame spent one-on-one time with President Barack Obama and participated in a roundtable discussion with Vice President Biden where inclusion, resilience and community engagement were discussed.
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