For Immediate Release

First Rural African Summit to Meet in St. Cloud on October 26-27

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The opportunities and challenges facing African immigrants living in Minnesota's rural communities will be the subject of the first Rural African Summit on October 26-27 in St. Cloud, Minn.

There are currently over 20,000 Africans living in rural areas of Minnesota. The goal of the Summit is to provide a forum for members of the community, community leaders, officials, providers, religious leaders, educators and businesspeople to learn from each other about the economic and social benefits, and challenges, of rural life for African immigrants.

"African immigrants in Minnesota often feel isolated as they adjust to a new language, colder weather and a different culture," said Garat Ibrahim, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Rural Communities Organizer. "We hope to bring people together, help them make connections, and find ways to work collectively to address some of these challenges."

The Summit will begin with an evening reception October 26 and continue all day on October 27 at the Radisson Suite Hotel in St. Cloud. Sessions will cover important issues facing African immigrants, including: legal issues, economic development, housing, human rights, employment, health and education.

There is no registration fee, but participants must be registered. For more information and to register, visit:

Sponsors of the summit include: the African Chamber of Commerce, African Development Center, Browse and Grass Farm Association, Otto Bremer Foundation, Ford Foundation, Jennie-O Turkey Store (Willmar), Minneapolis Foundation, U CARE, the Main Street Project and Lutheran Social Services of St. Cloud.


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