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West Bank Community Coalition / Somali American Education Program

The West Bank Community Coalition (WBCC) is the government-recognized neighborhood organization. The mission of the Somali American Education Program (SAEP) is to close the educational gap and to promote higher academic achievements and career advancements by Somali-American students. The project was an extension of the Culture of Peace program of 2009. It built on previous work of peace education for families and youth. Participants learned conflict resolution skills, identified community resources, had numerous dialogues with residents, identified community issues, and worked to determine responses. Engagement in the Culture of Peace Program has given residents opportunities to be role models to others and to actively engage in new community efforts. The WBCC board election resulted in a large increase in Somali speakers serving on the board. Program participants engaged with the local councilperson, raising issues of concern and to advocate for better access to the councilperson. These skills can be carried to any neighborhood, city, or state. There is also greater name recognition than awareness of the role the organization.

Project Award Date: 
Community organization or agency: 
Peace Circles II
Sponsoring CURA Program: 
CURA Contact: 
C Terrence Anderson Director of Community Based Research (612) 624-8988