The Brooklyns Immigrant Cultures - Think Again Brooklyns Print E-mail


Their History, Customs, and Aspirations


Save the Date!
Tuesday, November 15
6 p.m. - Pizza Buffet and Social               6:30 p.m. - Program

Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers
5200 85th Avenue N

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 oromo street

The Think Again Brooklyns November forum will include presentations on four of the many immigrant groups in Brooklyn Park.  Nelima Sitati framed the following topics that we will cover for Oromo, Hmong, Latino, and West African cultures: the history of the groups in the Brooklyns and MN; their contributions to the community in education, business, culture, and civic engagement; cultural practices which strengthen their communities and those that pose a challenge; what distinguishes the community from other communities; and the hopes and aspirations of the communities and challenges to achieving them.


teshite wakoTeshite Wako will discuss the Oromo Community in Brooklyn Park and MN.  Mr. Wako is the President of the Oromo Community of Minnesota, Financial Director of the Neighborhood Development Center, and Chair of the Oromo Chamber of Commerce.  He is a also a member of the Budget Advisory Commission for the City of Brooklyn Park.

  At the Neighborhood Development Center, Mr. Wako teaches African American entrepreneurs what it takes to start and run a business in the United States.  The Center assists an average of 267 entrepreneurs a year. 


bee vang-moua head

As director of the Hmong program in the Department of Asian Languages & Literatures at the University of Minnesota, Bee Vang-Moua teaches her students about Hmong language, history, and culture. Her classes have inspired her students to go outside the classroom to enhance the lives and legacy of the Hmong-American community. Vang-Moua has worked to bridge the generational gap in her community and to advocate for the rights of countless immigrant families.


michael duenesMichael Duenes will discuss the Latino community in MN and the Brooklyns. Mr. Duenes is the Dean of Liberal Arts and Global Studies at North Hennepin Community College. Previously he was a faculty member in the Department of Latino and Chicano Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is a graduate of Macalester College and earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

 nelima sitatiNelima Sitati will speak on a West Africa including a few of the 75 ethnic cultures found in the 15 countries of West Africa. Nelima Sitati is Executive Director of the Summit Hill Association. Previously she worked as the Equity Rubric Pilot Project Coordinator for the Organizing Apprenticeship Program and as a Housing Coordinator and Community Organizer for the Harrison Neighborhood Association. She has a B.A. in Women’s Studies and International Management and was a Humphrey School of Public Policy Fellow in 2013-14.



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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


steve simon


Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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