WILLMAR -- Two community meetings about understanding the Somali culture are scheduled for Thursday in Willmar.
"Understanding the Somali Culture," is designed to promote a greater understanding between the growing Somali population in Willmar and the rest of the community.
Anyone who is interested is invited to attend. Two meetings were scheduled so that as many people as possible could attend.
Similar panel discussion meetings will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W.
The panel discussion will include presentations on the following topics: understanding the Somali culture and the role of the mosque; understanding the cultural history of Willmar; perspectives from a Somali growing up in Willmar; understanding planning and zoning; and acclimating to culture, both here and in Somalia.
The panel will include Abdirizak "Zak" Mahboub, director of the African Development Center in Willmar; the Rev. Tim Larson of Calvary Lutheran Church; Mohamed Sayid of Kandiyohi County Family Services; Charlene Stevens, Willmar city administrator; and Rachelle Peterson, a community member. Moderator will be Greg Hilding of Bremer Bank.
The meetings are sponsored by the Willmar Lakes Area Community Marketing Coalition in cooperation with the African Development Center, the city of Willmar, Willmar Public Schools, Bremer Bank and the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.