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CAIR Minnesota head to speak at BSU Feb. 22

BEMIDJI—The executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will speak next week at BSU.

Jaylani Hussein will explore shared Minnesotan values—family, welcoming all, and success through hard work—in a presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in Room 103 of the university's American Indian Resource Center, according to a release from the university.

"The immigrants of the late 19th Century faced many of the same challenges of those coming to Minnesota over the last 30 years or so," Hussein said in the release. "They had to start with little to nothing and worked hard to ensure their children could achieve their dreams." The presentation will also include a question and answer session on Islam and Muslims. The council addresses organized Islamophobia such as smear campaigns and targeted acts of violence. It also addresses less-organized forms of Islamophobia like workplace and street harassment. "We're excited to come to Bemidji because this community really embodies the spirit of celebrating Minnesota's natural beauty through recreation and family fun while honoring the indigenous peoples who have worked to care for and protect these lands over centuries," said Jessica Wayman, the coordinator for Greater Minnesota Outreach CAIR-MN. Hussein's presentation is sponsored by BSU's Leadership Studies program and the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It's the first in the school's fourth-annual Leadership Series Lectures. Hussein moved to Minnesota from Somalia in 1993 and speaks English, Somali and Arabic. He has a bachelor's degree in political science from North Dakota State University and a bachelor's degree in Community Development and City Planning from St. Cloud State University. Before working as the executive director of CAIR-MN, Hussein worked as the community liaison officer at Metro State University and as a planner for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

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