St. Louis

Connecting across cultures in a diverse city

 

The City

If you travel down South Grand Blvd. in St. Louis, you get a taste of the diversity in the city through the restaurants you pass: Ethiopian, Mexican, Italian, Turkish, Vietnamese, Moroccan, Persian and more. St. Louis is home to more than 300,000 people, with an array of nationalities, languages and cultures represented. The city is also home to a growing community of people who have immigrated to the US or come as refugees, including a number from East African countries like Somalia.

Our Focuses: Connection, Learning, Understanding

Our years working in East Africa led us into our work with Somali and East African people in St. Louis, our base city. Keeping with our emphasis on building strong relationships, we’ve spent time developing friendships with Somali men and women in the city. These relationships provide opportunities for us to learn from and support each other. Together we can develop plans for addressing personal and community issues through services like:
  • Translation, typing, and job search support
  • Cultural learning events and classes
  • Connecting individuals and families to local resources
  • Holiday gatherings
Misunderstandings and preconceived ideas can often hinder cross-cultural relationships. When we meet someone from another culture, nation, ethnicity, or religion, we can often bring assumptions and stereotypes with us. We may be fearful, become frustrated, or act in a patronizing way. Our desire is to break down these divides and create fresh ground for authentic, trusting relationships to grow.