The Minnesota Humanities Center, in collaboration with Somali author and educator Marian Hassan, is seeking submissions for a first-of-its-kind Minnesota Somali Youth Anthology.
The anthology will be edited by Hassan and will include the authentic, first-hand stories of Minnesota’s Somali youth (ages 10 to 30) around ideas like what it means to be American, coping with loss and displacement, negotiating the charged identities of being a Muslim and a third-culture person, and much more.
“As a documentation of experiences for Somali youth, my hopes for the anthology are that it will start inter-generational dialogue to facilitate teaching and learning across the generations,” collaborator Marian Hassan said in a press release. “I hope the anthology will also be a learning and teaching tool for the larger community about the Somali people and their resilience as people from a culture of enduring faith in the face of all challenges.”
The Humanities Center believes that the anthology will serve as a necessary act of self-representation for Somali youth in a challenging time when their multiple identities are often vilified. Through stories and storytelling, these youth will take inspiration and realize the power of their voices by sharing their experiences in a variety of creative formats, collected together as a tapestry of experience.
“In 2004, the Humanities Center and leaders from Minnesota’s Somali communities came together to develop a bi-lingual children’s book series that took well-known Somali folk tales and published them side-by-side in English and Somali for the first time, promoting intergenerational relationships and literacy,” Humanities Center President & CEO David O’Fallon said in a press release. “Now, this successful partnership looks to focus on the voices of Somali youth in a similar way. The Somali Youth Anthology will use the power of the humanities to lift the voices of our often unheard young Somali-Minnesotan friends and neighbors.”
The Somali Youth Anthology submissions (in Somali or English) will be accepted until March 30 in a variety of formats (written, audio, visual). Over the course of several months after first-round submissions, selected youth will work with experienced community storytellers and writers to edit and develop their pieces. In spring 2018, selected youth will have a final, workshopped draft to submit to the editorial panel for final review and assessment.
The Minnesota Humanities Center’s Somali Youth Anthology will be published at a date yet to be determined. More information and full submission guidelines are available at goo.gl/UV8QdS.