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Sahan Journal publishes deep, reported news for and with immigrants and communities of color—the kind of stories you won’t find anywhere else.

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During the pandemic, employers asked immigrant workers in Minnesota to risk their health, safety, and status. In a new study, workers say they often got nothing in return.

Minnesota’s immigrants and refugees fill “essential” jobs in construction, agriculture, manufacturing, and more. In a new report, they shared their stories about working on the front lines of the outbreak, while finding themselves excluded from many federal and state relief funds. “You put yourself at risk for your family and the community,” one nursing assistant told researchers. “I was expecting something, but they didn’t give me anything.”


Sahan Journal receives $1.2 million grant from American Journalism Project to expand diverse news coverage in Minnesota.

Since its launch in 2019, Sahan Journal has become a groundbreaking source of news for immigrants and communities of color in Minnesota. The American Journalism Project, a leading venture news funder and incubator, will invest in Sahan Journal’s revenue and business growth to fund new reporters and editorial expansion.


‘We can’t be a rubber stamp to what the police want’: Ramsey County attorney takes a new approach to criminal justice.

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the nation has watched the City of Minneapolis struggle to transform its police force. But across the river, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has quietly developed a reputation as one of the nation’s most reform-minded prosecutors. Over the past decade, his office has adopted bold new programs to address cash bail, youth detention, and more. The result: An almost 50 percent decline in new incarcerations over just six years


Omicron will hit Minnesota schools like a ‘viral blizzard.’ We need to prepare for mass absences, building closures, and more.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, a leading national epidemiologist, talked to Sahan Journal about how the Omicron variant will affect schools and families in Minnesota–and how to prepare for it. What’s helpful: Avoiding contact, high-quality masks, ventilation, and vaccines. What doesn’t help: back-to-school testing. The news isn’t good. But Osterholm expects the surge will pass quickly: “The big thing psychologically: We’ve just got to get through the next three or four weeks,” he says. “I think things will be much better at the end of that.”


A special Qur’an holds the signature of almost every Minnesota Muslim elected to office. At a historic swearing-in ceremony, three Minneapolis City Council members added their names to the list.

A local Minneapolis imam started the Qur’an tradition less than 10 years ago, when Muslim political representation was scarce. Now, three City Council members—Jeremiah Ellison, Jamal Osman, and Aisha Chughtai—talk about creating a Muslim caucus.


Nine years ago, Zinet Kemal boarded a flight to Minnesota and a country she’d never seen. Today, she’s a mother of four, an IT professional seeking an advanced degree—and now, a children’s author.

After leaving Ethiopia, Zinet Kemal and her husband, Aman Hordofo, needed to learn everything about life in Minnesota, from enrolling in college to ordering a pizza. (Pro tip: Don’t try to pay the delivery guy with a $100 bill.) In her new kids’ book, “Proud in Her Hijab: A Story of Family Strength, Empowerment and Identity,” Zinet has her own lesson to offer.

Posted inCoronavirus

Gift cards, flight vouchers, college-scholarship lotteries: Some Black health experts express second thoughts about Minnesota’s vaccine incentives.

Since May, the Minnesota Department of Health has offered incentives to more than 100,000 people to take a COVID vaccine–including many people from communities of color. But one public health expert says he runs into questions: “If it is so safe and sound, why are you bribing us to take the vaccine?”


Hunger on campus isn’t a joke about ramen: How unmet needs keep Minnesota students from enrolling in community college.

Community colleges provide the most popular higher-ed pathway for Minnesota’s students of color. But many immigrant students don’t qualify for federal aid. And tuition assistance still leaves more than 40 percent of students struggling to afford balanced meals. One solution: a growing student movement to demand funding for students’ basic needs.


Habon: Islamophobia is a political weapon to keep Muslim women from participating in politics. The way to beat it? Run for office.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Representative Ilhan Omar faced a new slur from Colorado Republican Lauren Boebert. While Ilhan serves as a convenient target for anti-Muslim politicians and media figures, hate speech affects Muslims across Minnesota. Habon Abdulle, executive director of Ayada Leads, says the way to combat those forces is to organize African and Muslim women for civic leadership.


Native American students want the University of Minnesota Morris to search for lost burial sites. It may be even harder to recover generations of missing Indigenous culture and family history.

Archival research suggests as many as seven students from the Morris Industrial School for Indians could be buried on campus. Today, Native American students attend the university for free—but there’s a cost to reckoning with the site’s troubled history.


Native American students want the University of Minnesota Morris to search for lost burial sites. It may be even harder to recover generations of missing Indigenous culture and family history.

Archival research suggests as many as seven students from the Morris Industrial School for Indians could be buried on campus. Today, Native American students attend the university for free—but there’s a cost to reckoning with the site’s troubled history.

Posted inHEALTH

Worried about the Omicron variant of COVID? We called a Minnesota medical researcher for information, advice—and reassurance.

“The science is working,” says Dr. Tim Schacker, vice dean for research at the University of Minnesota Medical School. In a conversation with Sahan Journal, Dr. Schacker described what we know and what we don’t yet know about the Omicron variant. The global health system has become better prepared to evaluate the new COVID risks, Dr. Schacker says. And though the variant may be different, Minnesotans can protect themselves through familiar precautions like vaccines, masking, and social distancing.


‘Bring Back 6th’ launches campaign to reverse 80 years of Twin Cities history, and restore communities demolished to make way for Olson Memorial Highway.

When the highway was built in the 1940s, it followed the route of 6th Avenue North — straight through an early hub of Black life in Minneapolis. Organizers say its future should include dedicated bike and bus lanes, wider sidewalks, and slower speed limits.


St. Paul has a plan to pursue more equitable education by closing and merging schools. But immigrant parents say it would hurt their communities.

Somali American parents in St. Paul say a plan to close Highwood Hills Elementary would endanger a neighborhood hub. Latino parents say they weren’t included in the decision to close Wellstone Elementary. With a school-board vote coming soon, immigrant parents want to be heard.

Posted inHEALTH

We asked a Minnesota family physician how to keep our families safe from COVID-19 this holiday season—without retreating into isolation (again).

Yes, COVID-19 is bad in Minnesota right now. But Dr. Ndidiamaka Koka has updated advice about how to manage risks and avoid COVID while shopping, celebrating with family, attending concerts and sporting events, and more. Here are her tips on masking, boosters, ventilation, going into stores with young children, and enjoying the season. “I want people to be wise, safe, but not scared,” Dr. Koka says.


Sahan Journal receives Google News Initiative funding to collaborate with community news organizations that broadcast in Spanish, Hmong, and Somali.

Google News Initiative’s 2021 North America Innovation Challenge seeks to help local media learn more about the news needs of their communities. The program will give more than $3.2 million to 25 projects, selected from 190 applicants. Sahan Journal will work with community media—La Raza 95.7z FM, 3HmongTV, and Somali TV Minnesota—to help serve audiences in languages other than English.


This year, Minnesota school-board meetings endured a backlash against diversity. On Election Day, three suburban districts elected Somali Americans for the first time.

What does diverse school-board representation look like? Scrapping hoodie bans and congratulating new graduates in Somali. Across the south and west metro—Burnsville, St. Louis Park, and Rosemount–Apple Valley–Eagan—voters chose new Somali American school board members.


Three young Democratic Socialists elected to Minneapolis City Council are eager to pass progressive policies to benefit the city’s working class.

Aisha Chughtai, Jason Chavez, and Robin Wonsley Worlobah must work alongside a mayor whose approach and ideology they disagree with. They’ll also have to navigate a new system that took executive power from the council and allocated it to the mayor.

Posted inCOVID-19 Vaccine Project

Everything kids and parents need to know about getting the COVID-19 vaccine: a video in Hmong, Spanish, Somali, Oromo, and English.

This week, kids ages 5–11 become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Does your child have questions about why to get a shot and what to expect? We made a video for kids, featuring doctors and nurses who work with children. Please check it out—in Hmong, Spanish, Somali, and English.

Posted inCOVID-19 Vaccine Project

Wax kasta oo waalidiinta iyo carruurtu ay u baahan yihiin in ay ka ogaadaan tallaalka COVID-19.

Usbuucan, carruurta da’doodu u dhaxayso 5-11 sano ayaa waxay xaq u yeesheen in ay helaan tallaalka COVID-19. Carruurtaadu wax su’aalo ah ma ka qabaan sababta ay tallaalka u qaadanayaan iyo waxyaabaha dhici kara marka ay qaataan? Waxaan fiidiyow u samaynay carruurta, kaas oon ku soo bandhignay dhakhaatiir iyo kalkaaliyayaal la shaqeeya carruuro oo ay arrintan kaga warbixinayaan.

Posted inCOVID-19 Vaccine Project

Txhua yam uas niamtxiv thiab menyuam yuav tsum paub txog koob tshuaj tivthaiv tus kabmob COVID-19.

Lub week no, cov menyuam 5 xyoo mus txog 11 xyoo muaj feem cuam mus txhaj koob txhuaj tivthaiv tus kabmob COVID-19. Koj tus menyuam puas muaj lus nug txog vim licas ho thiaj li yuav tau txhaj koob tshuaj no thiab yog txhaj tag lawm no nws yuav zoo li cas? Peb muaj ib daim yeeb yaj kiab qhia cov menyuam los ntawm cov kws kho mob thiab cov nurses uas ib txwm ua haujlwm nrog cov menyuam yaus.