Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Grant and Average Mohamed worked with 50 kids in Minneapolis. The goal was to get their stories. What values did they care about. What made them who they were, what was their ambition and what social message did they have to offer to the world. We worked for six months before their Soccer practice. We provided a safe environment utilizing our amazing park service in Minnesota facility of Webber Park. We started a dialogue where we taught how to create a narrative, story board it, public speaking, sharing ideas, putting value to their understanding, create voice over and help create cartoons with messages. Don’t mind the accents, these kids worked their heart out. They came up with five messages for the world. Family, Immigrant stories, Being a Student Video, Soccer Star and last Dealing with Islamophobia. These videos were used in schools students across the world. A positive message that kids universally can relate to. Educators loved the message as it opened avenues of conversation in class.
Yes, the kids said that our parents nag us and keep on pestering us to do things. They appreciate it because in the long run it is to their benefit. Whether it is making their room, praying, or doing homework. Parents provide for them so that they succeed in life. The message from the Kids is respect parents and try as hard as it is to follow their instructions in life. Their success lies in it.
The kids were a mix of American born and newly arrived immigrants. They wanted to share their funny immigrant stories. They narrated their funniest moments of culture clash. What happened to them with their attempt to live life in a new country with a completely different system and ways of doing things. They wanted to express solidarity with the best of Americans, those who welcomed immigrants.
Nothing is more important than being a student. The kids wanted to succeed in life, having ambitions to get educated. Their ambition is to become professionals and business men. To get there they needed teachers and educators. The Kids explained that to fail is due to bad decisions and bad associations. Respect for educators is fundamentally important for them to achieve success. Respect for teachers and educators is an important component to their future success.
The kids all want to be soccer stars. What does it actually take to become a soccer star. Discipline, team work, knowledge of science to apply on the field. Hard work and determination. One of the kid did not understand why his mother did not like him playing soccer all the time. Balance of life and sports is important because mothers are always right.
Islamophobia is real. The kids get bullied for their accents and their sisters for the head scarf or Hijab. Hate is not new in America. The kids looked to history to find how other communities dealt with hate. They looked to American heroes Like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evans, Frederick Douglas and The Reverend Martin Luther King. They fought for all Americans to be free of hate of racism, Islamophobia is like racism, a form of hate. All human beings deserve respect. Their message is it will take all of us Institutions like schools, government and community to overcome. Leaving a message to always act on four principles. Being your best, be responsible, be safe and be always respectful. Our humanity is rooting for us all.