Somali Week is the Minnesota Somali community’s largest celebration of the year. Consisting of the Somali Independence Day Festival, Xasuuso (Remember) 1960 and a young Somali professionals networking event. Somali Week is a week-long event hosted in various locations across the Twin Cities. The theme of Somali Week 2022 is Promoting Diversity through Unity and Inclusion. Over the years, this event has grown from one block with 5,000 – 8,000 participants, to three blocks with a diverse crowd of over 40,000 participants. Somali Week is hosted by Rising Impact.
Rising Impact is a nationally-recognized Somali American nonprofit organization tailored towards enriching the lives of Somali American youth by utilizing the positive elements of education, mentoring, employment, and the arts. Ka Joog’s mission is to create a better world by providing community-based, culturally specific programs and services to Somali youth and their families. Ka Joog focuses its efforts on encouraging Somali youth to “ka joog” or “stay away” from negative influences such as drugs, violence, and other behaviors that can be detrimental to their development and future. Instead, Rising Impact directs youth towards higher education, civic involvement, and a volunteer commitment to the community. Rising Impact helps Somali youth understand their options and make the right choices, through programs offering mentoring, tutoring, and job readiness training. Rising Impact also provides positive outlets through the arts and encourages youth to share their talents with others.
Rising Impact has received several local and national awards for its accomplishments, including, but not limited to, Somali-American Community Appreciation Award, the Youth Leadership of the Year Award by the City of Minneapolis, and the U.S. Congressional Records award in honor of “… its contributions to the Somali community of Minnesota through art, education, and political action.”