2018 Human Rights Award recipients announced
The St. Louis Park Human Rights Commission presented the 2018 Human Rights Award to Sagal Abdirahman and Nadia Mohamed at the March 18 city council meeting. The Human Rights Award recognizes individuals, groups, organizations or businesses that have made an outstanding contribution toward increasing understanding and cooperation between people of different backgrounds in St. Louis Park.
Abdirahman and Mohamed have been very active in St. Louis Park and surrounding communities, helping improve understanding of the Muslim culture and connecting people through events, classes, conversations and relationship building. They were nominated for the award due to their continuous dedication, leadership in connecting and communicating across cultures and ability to find new ways to build relationships in the community.
Addressing the St. Louis Park City Council after receiving the award, Abdirahman said, “We wanted to give back to St. Louis Park, since we both grew up here. We’re both Somali-American Muslims and our experiences are very different from those we grew up with and the people we work with in the city. We wanted to take the extra step to create educational programs and have open awareness spaces where people can ask questions without feeling hesitant or uncomfortable.”
In 2018, the two women led educational presentations at two community Iftar dinners in St. Louis Park and Crystal; taught two classes through St. Louis Park Community Education – World Hijab Class and First Generation Somali Experience; and hosted a Sweet Potato Pie Comfort event that brought awareness of the Somali community mourning the bombing in Mogadishu.
“I really want to thank St. Louis Park for giving us the space to speak, and to the MAC members for coming out today and for supporting us in every endeavor,” added Mohamed.
Both Abdirahman and Mohamed currently serve on the St. Louis Park Police Department’s Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC) and volunteer with St. Louis Park High School’s High Achievement Program. Additionally, Abdirahman is a community service officer with the St. Louis Park Police Department.