Sunday, August 30, 2015

Abdi's biography

Abdi Sabrie
Abdi Sabrie, originally from Somalia, has lived in the U.S. for over thirty years and in Mankato for seven years with his wife and seven children. He is a co-founder and director of the African Family and Education Center (AFEC), a nonprofit that serves African Immigrants in Greater Mankato. He also co-founded and serves on the board of the Mankato Islamic Center, is a Commissioner on the Region Nine Development Commission on behalf of minorities, and serves on the Mankato Public Safety Advisory Board, the Backpack Food Program Advisory Committee, the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS) Board, the Council on American IslamicRelations (CAIR) Advisory Board, and the Blue Earth County Child Protection Advisory Board. In 2012 he was a National Jefferson Award recipient.

Abdi has participated in and is a current cohort of the Cultural Agility Collaborative (CAC), is a Blandin Community Leadership Fellow for Rural Minnesota, and has served on the Minnesota Valley Action Council Youth Council, the Habitat for Humanity Family Selection Committee, and the Blue Earth County Corrections Advisory Board. He also coordinated the after school program for refugee children in Mankato as well as the Science Camp program in partnership with Mankato School District and South Central College.

He is a former consultant and linguist for the United States Department of Defense during Operations Restore Hope and Continue Hope, helping to bring peace and stability to Somalia and its people.

Abdi's biggest passion is to provide equal educational opportunity for all children.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Let's elect Abdi Sabrie to the Mankato School Board

by Leigh Pomeroy

I first met Abdi about four years ago at a Blandin Foundation retreat for current and future leaders from the Mankato area. I had not known Abdi before then, but right away he impressed me as a thoughtful, considerate and intelligent individual with a ready smile and a natural penchant for leadership.

During that retreat and since then I have come to know him better, not only as a leader in the Somali-Sudanese community but as a leader for all of the greater Mankato community. And he has been recognized for his public service by winning the 2012 national Jefferson Award, which he received in a ceremony in Washington, DC. His community involvements are numerous, including:
  • Member of the Region Nine Development Commission
  • Member of the Mankato Public Safety Advisory Board
  • Member of the Blue Earth County Child Protection Advisory Board
  • Member of the Habitat for Humanity Family Selection Committee
  • Former director of the after school program at East High School
  • Former director of the Science Saturday Program (Summer Science Boot Camp) at South Central College

While our current school board has been doing a solid job, the board lacks specific representation of our growing minority community, which makes up about 22 percent of our public school students. Abdi Sabrie's experience working with the Somali-Sudanese community as well as other minorities makes him uniquely qualified to represent that segment of our public school families.

In short, while there are other excellent candidates for school board, Abdi Sabrie stands out among them by offering a special background and experience that the board is currently lacking. Thus, I urge everyone to vote Tuesday, Nov. 3, for Abdi Sabrie for school board.