Ethiopians Gather in Minnesota to Build Community
What does it mean—in real life—to appreciate the common bond of humanity above ethnicity or any other distinctions? If you had attended the recent SMNE Forum in Minnesota on December 6, 2014 that brought diverse Ethiopians together to talk to each other rather than about each other you would have seen it in action. We give thanks to the people in the Twin Cities who have captured this vision and organized this meeting only two weeks after a similar event was held in Washington D.C. on November 15, 2014.
What made it so gratifying was to hear from such diverse Ethiopians—from different ethnicities, religions, regions, genders, backgrounds, and perspectives—as they presented their stories, ideas, and solutions to the problems facing Ethiopians. Speakers were from Oromia, Gambella, the Ogaden, and the Amhara region and included both men and women. Some were of different faiths—either Muslim or Christian. It was encouraging to witness the enthusiastic response of the audience and participants as each presenter spoke about the past, including grievances, as well as of the present and its challenges, and about our shared future. They all soon discovered the many similar commonalities between them.