NEWS & Updates
SELECTED TO PROVIDE INVOCATION AT 2015 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CONVENTION ON AUGUST 28TH.
Imam Sharif and Michael VanKeulen were both invited to the Democratic National Committee convention. Imam Sharif provided opening remarks and an invocation for the event. Also attending the event were all key leaders in the Democratic local and national party including at that time; Secretary Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders, Governor Mark Dayton, Former Mayor R.T. Rybek, Donna Brazile, Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and numerous others. We felt very honored.
Transcript of Speech That Was Given:
Distinguished leaders and supporters of the Democratic Party, I am honored to extend to you the greeting of peace, assalamu alaikum, “Peace Be Upon You”
There is a Somali saying, “minanku minankaagii waaye,” which means, “My home is your home,” or by extension, “My state is your state.”
Welcome to Minnesota, home of the largest Somali, Hmong, Oromo, Liberian, and Karen communities in the United States. This did not happen by accident, but by the open arms and open hearts of the good people of our state, Minnesota.
We are here today because you and I both believe that we need one another.
We cannot thrive in this world in isolation.
When you see me on this stage, you may think - Diversity! However, Minnesota asks you to also see Unity.
There is no light between us - we are together. Today, we are one community determined to build and protect our democracy.
We pray to God, that we keep in our hearts the belief that we are one Nation, under God, indivisible. We are not “us and them” as much as we are one, together.
We are so grateful that you are here today to serve this great Nation.
We are in this life for a purpose. We ourselves struggle each day to know and live up to this purpose.
For many, the purpose is to know, love, and serve God. To be one who serves God is to see the face of God’s love in each and every face.
What a powerful responsibility, to see God’s love in every person. Also we hope that others may see the love of God in our own. These beliefs bind us together, and hold us to accountability. It is a belief, a faith, and a bond between us.
In the spirit of our shared humanity, I offer this prayer for God’s guidance and protection:
Lord of mercy
We pray to you God to open our hearts
We pray to you God to keep our minds alert
We pray to you God to keep our courage strong
We pray to you God to let wisdom shape our words and actions
We have all around us hope and opportunity
We see all around us those who love their children
We see our brothers and sisters serving one another
We see the light of day enter dark rooms
We must know that Black Lives Matter
Lord, when we lose sight of You, we travel very hard road
We remember lives lost and injured in painful wars
God inform our work together and let that service be worthy of your notice
God help those in this room
Guide this party to hold up the ideal of a party of inclusion
Guide this party to its ideal of hope and true justice for all
Bring the many faces of humanity before each of us as we act for the benefit of all
God help us in our efforts now and the future to hold ourselves before you, prepared for your grace upon us.
2015/16 EDUCATION POLICY FELLOWS
Imam Sharif Mohamed and Michael Van Keulen are both accepted as 2015/16 Education Policy Fellows through the Education Policy Fellows Program as a part of the Center for Policy Design (St. Paul) and the Institute for Educational Leadership (Washington D.C.) centerforpolicy.org
HUBERT H. HUMPHREY PUBLIC LEADERSHIP AWARD
We were very pleased to have Imam Sharif honored on June 30th with the Humbert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Award. The award represents the Imam's work in promoting and sustaining intercultural, interfaith engagement. The 2015 award recipients were each honored along with Vice President Walter Mondale for their life's efforts. We thank the Humphrey School of Public Affairs for this great honor.
With support the Catalyst Initiative and the George Family Foundation, Hennepin County, and the University of MN School of Public Health we explore how Islamic principles and tenants can help to improve individual and community health. We have addressed key topics of diabetes, cancer screening, mind/body wellness,
and the role of Muslim Chaplains in hospitals.
We have supported numerous public and private schools and school districts as they seek to improve their engagement of their East African community members. Our current efforts have us focused in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Burnsville, and St. Cloud.
Through a partnership with Youthprise, we have joined an effort to connect East African youth, their school districts, their families, faith centers, and career counselors, we hope to build the most comprehensive career pathways network among youth in the Twin Cities.