The New Americans Academy took place this past December at the Mounds View Adult Education Center. Over two weeks, in four different presentations, we covered topics including the police department, fire department, US & MN laws, and human trafficking.
We were so grateful to speakers Officer Kirsten Heineman, Attorney Katrina Joseph, SBM Fire Educator Rebecca Booker, and human trafficking survivor Bukola Oriola (www.bukolaoriola.com and www.enitan.org).
Here are a few pictures of the event.
Officer Heineman later said an adult learner stopped her during a break and hugged her, saying "for 20 years I've lived in the United States and I was afraid of the police. Now I know you and you are my friend". This program was rewarding in so many ways!
Our goal was to break down barriers that prevent people from utilizing public services including the police and fire department and share insight into the agencies that serve in this community. We recognize the immigrant community is vulnerable to crime such as scams, fraud, and human trafficking. With a fear of the police or not understanding who or what agencies work in their community, we hope to reduce this vulnerability through on going engagement efforts.
The second New American's Academy was hosted by Blaine Police Department. It was well attended and grew to include a food demonstration by SNAP and a tour through an Allina ambulance.
We look foward to hosting again in Mounds View next year.