Dr. Stephen Hill

Course Description

The purpose of this project was to study participants' understanding of the challenges of urban immigrant life in the United states today and, specifically, understanding of Somali culture, religious practices, life styles and school lives. Somali immigrants are increasingly migrating into communities such as the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, New Richmond, Wisconsin and Barron, Wisconsin. However, communities and public school teachers know little about their culture, traditions, language, and life styles. Thus, the importance of this project is that UWEC participants gain a personal and professional understanding of Somali culture and immigrant experiences. In addition, they may effectively serve as cultural bridges. The findings indicated that through the combination of a week-long, full-day, field placement in Anne Sullivan School and Cedar Riverside Community Academy, and more than twenty four hours of classroom-based instruction, participants were able to gather information about Somali culture, traditions and religion from scholarly presentations, readings, and observations. Furthermore, participants were able to understand the privileges of the white, middle class Americans who are not immigrants.