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Minnesota's Growing West African Community Reaches Out

PHOTO: As many as 45,000 West Africans now live in Minnesota, among the largest such populations in the nation. Courtesy Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.
PHOTO: As many as 45,000 West Africans now live in Minnesota, among the largest such populations in the nation. Courtesy Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.
September 26, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - As the number of immigrants from West Africa relocating to Minnesota grows, the community is reaching out to make connections. The Center for Families, a program of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, will host its annual West African Cultural and Family Day on Saturday in Minneapolis.

Executive Director Edmund Ocansey said participants will share traditional songs, dances, food and other activities from places such as Liberia and Ghana.

"The goal is to invite other Minnesotans to come and enjoy some of our culture, our food, and try to come out with something that is dear to our hearts as new Americans to Minnesota," Ocansey said.

The Saturday event, he explained, will also help connect and educate people from different parts of West Africa, an area that encompasses 15 different countries.

"We are here. People should just kind of learn how best, you know, we can come together as immigrants, put our heads together to help each other."

Up to 45,000 West Africans currently live in Minnesota, one of the largest such populations in the country.

More information is available at http://centerforfamilies.gmcc.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN