Macalester Civic Forum - April 7-9, 2011
New American Citizens: Opportunities and Obligations for Somalis
Immigration and refugee resettlement were, and still are, central factors in the making of American society. Yet unlike earlier ages when the people of Europe were the predominant arrivals, our epoch is characterized by many from Africa, Mexico, Central and South America, and Asia who have sought opportunities to make new lives in these United States. The phenomenal arrival of tens of thousands of Somalis within the past two decades is a slice of this latest trend in the continuous reshaping of America. Among others, Somali-Americans add to this demographic change: foreign-born Americans and their children now compose at least a fifth of our population. The consequences of these shifts are already visible in many communities and states. In this iteration of the Civic Forum, we will cogitate upon the meaning of the Somali-American presence in our midst.
Thursday, April 7
John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
|6:30–6:40 p.m.||Welcome to Civic Forum:
Associate Dean of the IGC Karin Trail-Johnson
|6:40–7:00 p.m.||“E Pluribus Unum: 21st Century Citizenship and the Somali-American Experience”
Presentation by Owen Truesdell ’11
|7:00–7:20 p.m.||“Revival of the Civic Spirit:
Contradictions in Somali-American Citizenship”
Presentation by Louise Dickson ’11
|7:20–7:45 p.m.||Question and Answer period|
|7:45–8:00 p.m.||Refreshment Break|
|8:00–8:40 p.m.||Keynote address: “The Newest African-Americans?: Somali Struggles for Belonging”
Cawo Mohamed Abdi,
Department of Sociology
University of Minnesota
|8:40–8:55 p.m.||Response by Wendy Weber,
Department of Political Science
|8:55–9:05 p.m.||Cawo Mohamed Abdi’s response|
|9:05–9:30 p.m.||Question and Answer period
|9:30–9:40 p.m.||Closing Remarks:
Associate Dean of the IGC Karin Trail-Johnson
Friday, April 8
Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel
|7:00–7:10 p.m.||Opening Welcome: President Brian C. Rosenberg|
|7:10–7:30 p.m.||Macalester Choir performance|
|7:30–8:30 p.m.||Interview with Dean Ahmed I. Samatar: By Professor David C. Moore and Rachel Wisthuff ’11|
|8:30–8:45 p.m.||Refreshment Break|
|8:45–9:30 p.m.||Oud Player, Muhumed Ali Magan, and Drummer, Khadar Ali, with vocals by Ahmed I. Samatar|
Saturday, April 9, “Somali Community Evening”
Alexander G. Hill Ballroom, Kagin Hall
|7:00–7:15 p.m.||Opening Welcome: Professor Hussein Ahmed Warsame, University of Calgary|
|7:15–8:20 p.m.||Interview with Ahmed Samatar (in Somali): By Professor Hussein Ahmed Warsame and Nimo Farah, African Development Center|
|8:20–8:35 p.m.||Refreshment Break|
|8:35–10:00 p.m.||Oud Player, Muhumed Ali Magan, and Drummer, Khadar Ali, with vocals by Ahmed I. Samatar|
Cawo Mohamed Abdi is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. Professor Abdi’s research focuses on the gender and transnational relations of Somalis in Minnesota and East Africa, as well as comparative transnational relations of East African migrants in different parts of the world. She has published on patterns of migration out of Somalia, experiences living in Kenyan refugee camps, and migrant experiences of dislocation and integration.
Louise Dickson ’11, a Twin Cities native, is an International Studies and History double major. A member of the Phi Alpha Theta history honors society, she is pursuing an honors thesis in the History Department. Louise spent a semester at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She has immersed herself in the Somali community, teaching a citizenship class at the Minnesota Confederation of Somali Community in Minneapolis. Upon graduation, she plans to enlist as an American Foreign Service Officer.
Owen Truesdell ’11 is a Political Science major focusing on International Relations and the European Union. Originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, Owen is currently completing an honors thesis analyzing the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. As the President of the Macalester College Student Government, Owen has concentrated on promoting political diversity at the college.
Hussein A. Warsame is an Associate Professor of Financial Accounting and Taxation at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Canada. He holds an MBA and Ph.D. in Management. In addition to Somali issues, he has published in such refereed journals as Accounting, Organization and Society; Accounting and the Public Interest; the Journal of American Taxation Association; the Journal of International Accounting, Auditing, and Taxation; and the Asia-Pacific Journal of Taxation.
Wendy Weber is a Visiting Instructor of Political Science and International Studies at Macalester College. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Manitoba in Canada. Her academic interests focus on contemporary global governance especially around issues of human rights and humanitarianism. She teaches courses on international politics, global governance, human rights, humanitarianism, and gender and world politics.
Muhumed Ali Magan is among the highly celebrated and most innovative oud players of his generation. His performances have taken him to many parts of East Africa, Europe, and North America. He is at once at home with classical Somali and more contemporary tunes.