Ethnic communities and enclaves are staples in many American states and cities. But Minnesota’s cultural identity, which has been shaped by multiple refugee movements from Africa and Asia, is unique. We talk with active members of Minnesota’s Somali and Hmong communities, both of which have grown out of political strife on other continents.


  • Ryan Allen Assistant Professor, Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
  • Hussein Samatar Executive Director, African Development Center of Minnesota
  • Kazoua Kong-Thao Chairwoman, St. Paul Board of Education

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