Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Our Stories, Ourselves: Home & Exile

May 22, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


| Virtual event |


Immigrants and refugees often come to the United States because they were traumatized in their homeland and many end up in Minnesota. Sometimes they were uprooted overnight and find themselves in a land that is strange to them. How do they make new lives for themselves in this new land? Though they are able to make homes out of necessity, do they ever really find home? 

In this More Than a Single Story conversation, Carolyn Holbrook will engage with Somali author, Ayaan Adan, Uruguayan author Tessa Bridal, genderqueer Afghani writer and professor of Global Studies, Ahmad Qais Munhazim, and Hmong community leader, Terri Thao in a discussion on what home and exile means to them.

Check the calendar to see what else we have coming up. This discussion is part of our Our Story, Ourselves series. It is followed by two writing workshops. Check our calendar for more info.

Hennepin County Libraries is our partner for this event. Funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.




Panelist Bios


Ayaan Adan is an author, award-winning user experience designer, and community organizer. Her newest book, Daughters of Arraweelo: Stories of Somali Women was released by MN Historical Society Press in February 2022. She has been featured in Teen Vogue, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and Twin Cities Daily Planet. Ayaan is an advocate for privacy, civil liberties, and accessibility. She is committed to making a positive impact in the lives of others through storytelling, design thinking, and community organizing.

Tessa Bridal was born and raised in Uruguay, a third generation descendent of a resilient and courageous Irish woman who boarded a ship she had been informed was sailing for Boston. Her ancestor’s story is told in Bridal’s second novel, River of Painted Birds, published in English and Spanish (Río de los pajaros pintados). Her first novel, The Tree of Red Stars won the Milkweed National Prize for Fiction and the Friends of American Writers annual award. Bridal has also authored two works of nonfiction on the use of live theatre in museums, and is the recipient of the American Association of Museums (now the American Alliance of Museums) Educators Award for Excellence. Her newest book is The Dark Side of Memory: Uruguay’s Disappeared Children and the Families that Never Stopped Searching.  

Ahmad Qais Munhazim, a genderqueer Afghan, Muslim and perpetually displaced, is an assistant professor of global studies at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. As an interdisciplinary scholar, de/colonial ethnographer and community activist, Munhazim’s work troubles borders of academia, activism and art while exploring everyday experiences of migration and war in the lives of queer and trans Afghans. Currently, Munhazim is preparing their book manuscript based on a de/colonial ethnography of queer and trans Afghans in Afghanistan and Afghan refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers in the United States. Munhazim has published articles, poetry and non-fictions in the Journal of Narrative Politics, Kohl: A Journal for Body and Gender Research, The Oxford Handbook of Global LGBT and Sexual Diversity Politics, Antipode, We Are Meant to Rise: Voices for Justice from Minneapolis to the World, Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose and Pride and the Conversation. Munhazim, born and raised in Afghanistan and exiled currently in Philadelphia, holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Minnesota.

Terri Thao is passionate about building power with community. She is currently a program director of the local giving and opportunities program at the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.  Terri has spent her professional career in the fields of community economic development, community building, leadership development, and philanthropy. She also teaches classes on leadership and advocacy at Metropolitan State University. She serves on the boards of the F.R. Bigelow Foundation and Minnesota Housing. She obtained her Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees from the University of Minnesota. She loves to read in her spare time.


May 22, 2022
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Categories:
, ,