Somali Minnesotans share perspectives on the community's past, present and future

Qorsho Hassan puts a poster on the wall of her new fourth grade classroom.
Qorsho Hassan, Minnesota's 2020 Teacher of the Year, puts a poster on the wall of her new fourth grade classroom at Echo Park Elementary. It's her first year in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district after Burnsville schools laid her off last year.
Jaida Grey Eagle | Sahan Journal file

In the past decade, Minnesota’s Somali community has become a political force. Somali Minnesotans are politically active and increasingly present in local and national politics, but there's a lot more to the community.

Minnesota's first Somali immigrants arrived in the early 1990s, and the community has grown to be the biggest in the United States.

Somali Minnesotans are business owners, famous for an entrepreneurial spirit that's responsible for many of the Twin Cities' cafes and restaurants. They're also opening Somali charter schools, hosting community radio shows and a lot more.

Three Somali Minnesotans joined MPR News host Angela Davis to talk about the community’s past, present and future.


  • Ibrahim Hirsi is a reporter for the Sahan Journal.

  • Qorsho Hassan is Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year and a fourth-grade teacher at Echo Park Elementary in Burnsville.

  • Rep. Hodan Hassan represents District 62A, which is comprised of parts of Minneapolis, in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Use the audio player above to listen to the program.

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