Saint Paul, Minn. (Oct. 3, 2015) — The Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM) announces its Fifth Annual Gala entitled “Weaving Into the Community” to be held on Oct. 7, 2015 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hamline University’s Anderson Center, 1579 Englewood Ave, St Paul, MN 55104.
More than 280 guests will attend this annual showcase of KOM’s work on behalf of the Karen people and other refugees from Burma. It is also KOM’s single largest one-day fundraising event each year.
This year’s Gala will highlight the weaving group, a group of Karen and Karenni women who have joined together to weave garments in an effort to maintain valued traditions of art and culture while building friendships and earning income. The story of the weavers is used as a metaphor for the refugee community from Burma, by interlaying their culture in the Twin Cities metro area.
“Refugees from Burma bring many great traditions, talents, and knowledge to Minnesota,” said KOM Interim Executive Director Alexis Walstad. “Our role at KOM is to empower refugees to interweave their strengths with resources and opportunities available in our community. I am thrilled to be able to share the weaving group’s inspiring story and other highlights of KOM’s work at this year’s Annual Gala.”
The weaving group is a collaboration between KOM, Roseville Adult Learning Center, Goodwill Easter-Seals, East Side Freedom Library, the Minnesota Weavers Guild, and several Karen and Karenni weavers. Tim O’Brien, Manager of the Roseville Adult Learning Center, and weaver Rosie Say will be the keynote speakers at the Annual Gala. Weaving group members will also sell handmade items and demonstrate the weaving process at the event.
Media are welcome to attend the Gala, and KOM staff will be available to assist members of the media throughout the evening. Please contact Alexis Walstad at 651-202-3120 or [email protected] for all media inquiries.
The Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM) is the first nonprofit in Minnesota established by Karen refugees from Burma. Since opening its doors in October 2009, KOM has rapidly grown from a small volunteer association to a thriving service hub aiding over 1,000 refugees each year. KOM achieves its mission to enhance the quality of life for all refugees from Burma in Minnesota by providing comprehensive, culturally appropriate services to help newly arrived refugees find housing, jobs, education, and other resources they need to succeed in their new home. KOM is also highly regarded as a partner and a cultural resource for other agencies seeking to reach this emerging population. To learn more about refugees from Burma and KOM’s work, please visit www.mnkaren.org or call us at (651)202-3120.