On Saturday, February 4, we had the opportunity to connect with members of the Cedar Riverside community at a listening session. We discussed perceptions of disability in the Somali community, what supports are currently available, and how Lifeworks can better partner with them as we co-create culturally specific programs. A grant from DHS, awarded to Lifeworks to help us expand service delivery and provide greater access to underserved communities, partly funded the event.
Seven folks from the Cedar Riverside community and Lifeworks staff members attended the event on Saturday. Attendees participated in open and vulnerable conversations about disability, which included a discussion on the specific community and cultural barriers to accessing support and services. Attendees and our staff were excited and engaged by the discussion, which opened up the potential for Lifeworks to continue meeting with the community through similar events in the future.
Lifeworks developed the event in partnership with EMERGE, which has deep roots in the Cedar Riverside community through workforce and community development. We want to thank EMERGE for sharing space at their community center. We also want to thank Somali TV for furthering our reach into the community, Osman, a Somali interpreter, for his time and services, and Muna for leading the conversation.
Check out the recap of the event from Somali TV, which includes interviews with our Diversity and Inclusion Director, Muna Mohamed, and our President and CEO, Gertrude Matemba-Mutasa: https://fb.watch/iAObNAC-Sy/