7th Annual MinneSlife Spring Conference

9:00 am - 5:30 pm

St. John's University, Peter Engle Science Center

Collegeville, Minnesota

Register Now! (free) Saturday, March 30, 2019

The call for proposals ended January 31, 2019. Thank you to all to submitted! We received a variety of proposals on topics including: practitioner presentations of classroom practices, reports of research and/or theory, community profiles and experiences, and advocacy projects.

The Education Club at St. Ben’s and St. John's and MinneSLIFE are pleased to invite you to join us at the 2019 SLIFE Spring Conference!

This conference is offered free of charge to participants. We will provide morning coffee beginning at 8:30, as well as lunch. CEUs provided.

2019 Plenary Speaker

Our conference will kick off with distinguished Plenary Speaker: Ms. Hudda Ibrahim

Hudda Ibrahim, MA, is a faculty member at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, where she teaches diversity and social justice. Hudda’s interests include conflict transformation, the politics of reconciliation, global politics, transitional justice, gender issues, and war and peace. She is author of From Somalia to Snow, as well as unpublished manuscripts including The Traveler: True Grit, a memoir about her work, contributions, and life journey; Get in the Driving Seat of Your Own Life: Steps to Unleash Women’s Confidence, a book that encourages girls and women to pursue their God-given potential and understand their abilities in order to flourish and be successful in the United States;Gender and Sexuality: Static or Fluid? and The Role of the Traditional Somali Model in Peacemaking. She holds a master’s degree in peace studies from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in peace and conflict studies and English literature from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota. Read more about Hudda atwww.huddaibrahim.com.

Overnight accommodations: St. John's Abbey Guesthouse

On-site accommodations are available through the Saint John’s Abbey Guesthouse. These rooms feature stunning views of the lake or the abbey church, and feature private bathrooms. Single and double rooms are available, as well as suites for up to 4 people. Room rates range from $70 for a single, to $120 for a suite, per night. Find more information and make your reservation at: www.abbeyguesthouse.org

Special Event

The Dali Quartet will be performing on the evening of March 29th at St. John’s University. The CSB/SJU website states:

The Dalí Quartet is today’s freshest voice in Classical and Latin-American music. This performance features all Latin composers to create an extraordinary evening of strings that takes audiences on a passionate journey of rhythm and exploration. Read more and reserve seats athttps://www.csbsju.edu/fine-arts/performances/dali-quartet

Meet the Authors

Join us for a special book signing event where you can meet three distinguished authors, purchase books, and have them signed.

Plenary Speaker Hudda Ibrahim will sign copies of her book “From Somalia to Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis”.

Reviewers have said:

“From Somalia to Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis provides a great understanding of Somali culture, tradition, religion, and issues of integration and assimilation. In addition, it enhances awareness of the challenges and barriers that the Somali community faces. The book sheds light on the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the Somali people. The Somali experience is similar to the experiences of other immigrant and refugee groups. They, too, want to live the American Dream. I highly recommend this book to educational institutions, the business community, health-care departments, and anyone who works and continues to build for community. Dave Kleis, mayor of Saint Cloud, Minnesota

“Hudda Ibrahim has the gift of being able to communicate across ethnic, racial, gender, economic, generational, and political barriers with a level of intimacy that requires years of cross-cultural experience. This gift illuminates the experience of the Somali community in central Minnesota and is a must-read for anyone who seeks to understand Somali American challenges as well as the challenges faced by many of our most vulnerable neighbors.” Lee Morgan, President, Morgan Family Foundation

Terri L. Rodriguez will be available to talk about her book “Supporting Muslim Students: A Guide to Understanding the Diverse Issues of Today’s Classrooms” (Mahalingappa, Rodriguez and Polat).

What reviewers have to say:

“Although the number of Muslim students in U.S. schools throughout the nation is steadily increasing, most schools are still unprepared to welcome and teach them effectively. Supporting Muslim Students is a much-needed, practical guide that will help educators learn more about these students, explore ways to make curriculum and pedagogy be more inclusive, and reach out to Muslim families. With school and classroom-based vignettes and case studies, this text describes many of the challenges faced by Muslim students in our schools today. It will be an excellent resource for teachers, schools, teacher educators, and policymakers.” — Sonia Nieto Ph.D, professor emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture, College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Supporting Muslim Students is boldly and unapologetically designed to support and sustain teachers and other school professionals in their advocacy for all students. This very timely book will serve as a professional resource for those working in multicultural contexts—for those who believe in social justice education—for those equity minded educators who are seeking the nuanced understandings needed to extend those beliefs to the Muslim students they serve. Well-researched and powerful in its breadth and depth, this text makes an important contribution that will empower educators who endeavor to become more empathetic and knowledgeable as they strive to help all students in their journeys toward becoming more sensitive and better informed citizens as well.” — Arnetha F. Ball, professor, Stanford University Graduate School of Education

Meet Tammy Wilson, author of “Through My Eyes”, a text widely used in Minnesota classrooms. She is also Principal of Discovery Elementary School in St. Cloud.

Zamzam is presented as a child who is fascinated by her new country and her new peers, but at the same time is proud of her Islamic and Somali heritage. This sends a powerful message to young Somali Americans, who at times struggle to reconcile the various aspects of their identity.” Book review by Somali Literacy Project

This book should be read by every American. It is a heartwarming, at times heartbreaking, exploration of the struggles of a young refugee girl, and beyond that it is an affirmation of all people who struggle and then succeed in social and cultural adaptations.” Dennis Dalman, Editor for Newsleader

Through My Eyes is released at a time when our communities need to foster understanding, inclusion and positivity regardless of our roots.” Abdul Kulane, Contributing writer, Saint Cloud Times

Planning Committee:

Allison J. Spenader, Associate Professor, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University (CSB/SJU)

Katrina Bigalk, Co-President, CSB/SJU Education Club

Keegan McSherry, Co-President, CSB/SJU Education Club

Jill Watson, Assistant Professor, St. Olaf College

Martha Bigelow, Professor, University of Minnesota

Conference Sponsors:

  • MinneTESOL Executive Board
  • College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University Education Department
  • ATLAS, Hamline University
  • MinneSLIFE Standing Committee
  • CSB/SJU Student Activities and Leadership Development
  • Becoming Community Initiative, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University
  • St. Cloud State University, Department of English; Teaching English as a Second Language