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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Ethnic Group Hopes SD Music Event Elevates Its Community Profile

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Friday, August 4, 2023   

South Dakota is among the states that have received the most refugees, per capita, in the past decade. This weekend, a specific group of New Americans celebrates its culture through music and dance in hopes of making deeper community connections.

Sioux Falls has one of the largest Kunama populations in the United States. These individuals fled a civil war in East Africa nearly 15 years ago. Moses Idris, an organizer for the Kunama Cultural Festival, now in its second year, said local Kunama residents have overcome challenges in finding stability in the metro area, but they still want others to know about their desire to feel welcome.

"That's why we're trying to raise awareness and just celebrate each other, and our unity as people, and [our] growth," he said.

A key part of this year's event will be Saturday performances on the main stage at Levitt at the Falls, which hosts free concerts throughout the year. The shows will include traditional Kunama dance and music, along with storytelling and teachings. Internationally renowned musicians will be on hand, paying tribute to cultural heritage from other parts of Africa.

Rose Ann Hofland, who leads community engagement for Levitt at the Falls, said the shows by Kunama performers might not be something all attendees are used to, but she said she feels they will get a sense of inclusiveness.

"It's a very sort of communal dancing, where everybody comes together and joins in," she said. "I think it's really in alignment with the Levitt mission, and I think it's just going to be an exciting and joyful thing for people to participate in."

Meanwhile, the larger festival includes soccer matches and cultural fashion shows and runs through Sunday. Some of the soccer teams hail from other U.S. cities with large Kunama populations, including Kansas City and Atlanta. Organizers say these activities are especially helpful in trying to engage Kunama youths and keep them on a steady path.


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