Addressing racial wealth gaps

Our Commitment

Report date
November 2019
Learning Log

I had started the second year of the fellowship with a significant improvement in leadership growth compared before the fellowship began in 2018. Also, I am self-confident that my leadership has developed remarkably and made strong networks, created new relationships, and built trust amongst the community beneficiaries that I work with as well as partner organizations. The alternative Islamic financing mechanism got momentum due to this Bush Foundation fellowship investment, where financing agencies, some from other parts of the country reaching out to me to learn about it.
I became a go-to person for the appropriate alternative Islamic financing mechanism. As part of the work plan, I brought together community, academic, faith, Community development corporations, and government personnel to learn, compare and contrast the Islamic financing tools in relating to the conventional banks.
For community gatherings and other meeting formats, I have acquired that Islamic financing transactions are based on investment, not lending, so the investor(bank) must share the risk as well as the profit. In opposite to the conventional banks, the Islamic finance system is all about risk sharing, profit sharing, and loss sharing, protecting the poor people while making sure that rich people should not get richer in the expenses of their needy consumers.
My leadership has changed because I become a well-known person for this work, so I have been invited community economic building sessions to work with government and non-governmental agencies for finding an innovative idea of asset and wealth building for the community. This work became significant and crucial for the Muslims, immigrants, and Somali communities to recognize my leadership within the community, but most importantly, in this Islamic financing field.
The second part of the fellowship is to pursue a doctorate in public administration from Hamline University. The program’s name has been changed this year from Doctor of Public Administration to Ph.D. in Management and Public Service, adding a couple of research courses. My core and elective courses are scheduled to be done by the summer of 2020.
Before starting the dissertation process, I have to pass a comprehensive public administration test in August of 2020 that includes all the course materials, class notes, and presentations, etc. The test is about the critical issues on the public of administrations, historical mistakes of public administration as well as ethical and cultural lapses.
Moreover, at the beginning of the fellowship, I was confused about the word” self-care” because, as an immigrant, small nonprofit grassroots organization director, mathematics teacher, and community organizer, I never got enough vocations. I was working all the time unpaid overtime because we always have had community issues, youth intricacies, and other emergencies during weekends and after-hours.
During the Bush fellowship, I have learned that self-care is indeed essential to my mind, body, and overall work productivity. Thus, I would recommend everyone to consider having self-care.
Lastly, the fellowship created a voice and set a platform for me and for the community beneficiaries that I serve. It created more public awareness for the cultural and systematics barriers that the Somali and Muslim communities have to build assets and wealth in Minnesota. Many established nonprofits and government organizations are joining with me to find solutions for this subject.