July Neighbor News

When Home Won’t Let You Stay,
A Refugee Portrait Exhibit

Featuring 20 portraits and stories of MN refugees by artist James Bowey—When Home Won’t Let You Stay is currently in residence in Central MN during Summer 2018.


The exhibit is currently spread out over 6 Central MN locations, and will be there through the end of July.

  1. Local Blend, St. Joe
  2. Good Shepherd Nursing Home, Sauk Rapids
  3. The Change Hair Salon, Sartell
  4. Daylily Salon and Spa, Sartell
  5. Westwood Church, St. Cloud
  6. Quarks American Bento, St. Cloud

Full exhibit displayed at the Paramount Center for the Arts. An artist reception and community conversation held on August 23rd at 6pm - all are invited! Please check back closer to the reception date to register for this free community event.


Central MN Arts Board
United Way of Central MN
Paramount Center for the Arts

A portion of this exhibit was made possible by a Central MN Arts Board grant. Contact our director, Natalie ( to become a business, personal, or family sponsor of this exhibit.

Read more about the exhibit here!

Central MN Green Card Voices exhibit

Sign up today to host our exhibit in the Fall!

Bring our Central MN Green Card Voices exhibit is to your community this fall! So far, our exhibit has traveled to Cold Spring, St. Cloud, St. Joe, and Sartell....and even Aberdeen, South Dakota! Who will be the first to bring it to Sauk Rapids? How about Clear Lake? Any takers, Brainerd/Baxter area?

Check out our website for more info and contact our Director, Natalie ( if you have any questions!

Contact Us Today

Recently in Central MN

Refugee Portraits, Stories Distill Humanity Hidden by Controversy

St. Cloud Times

"Some people don’t really understand why refugees are here," UniteCloud's Natalie Ringsmuth said. "We hope by having these out in the community, people encounter the stories, sit with them, and maybe change their mind."

Bowey (the artist on this project) discovered that in an era where information has been weaponized, he needed to reclaim what he calls the "empathetic imagination."

"The way that we can reclaim (that) ... wasn't just to provide more and more information ... but was in a way, to provide less," Bowey said. "When you present the most basic elements of our humanity and our experience, that engages us to think more deeply and at a deeper, more human, empathetic level.”

Read The Article


Why Being a UNICEF Ambassador is model Halima Aden’s Proudest Accomplishment Yet

CBS News
"My mom can pick up a Vogue magazine and she doesn't really understand, but when I told her about UNICEF, she started crying, you know. When I told her that news, it was like the first time in my modeling career that she was really, truly proud of me," Aden shared Monday on "CBS This Morning." "Because I think it's like a difference in culture, and she doesn't understand like the impact of being represented for the first time, but she does understand me working with UNICEF."

Read The Article

Actionable Step

Visit the Somalis+MN exhibit at the MN History Center in St. Paul

Make time to see this beautiful exhibit, which features many of your Somali neighbors from Central MN including Hudda Ibrahim, Haji Yusuf, Halima Aden, and the Apollo High School Swim team. Stop by and fill out a card on what your hopes and dreams are for the Somali community in MN to show your love for your Somali neighbors:)
More information on the MN History Center website

A Nation of Welcome. Yes, Please!

“And thus begins my mother’s American story. She, a four year old child, and her mother, Olga, stepped onto American shores in California for the first time in 1945. They were offered a welcome when they most needed it. As a grandchild of an immigrant, I am grateful to the United States government for allowing my Russian grandmother into the country following World War II.”


Youth Homelessness in Central MN

Youth homelessness is a real issue in our community and it does affect you. These are young people, fighting to be seen. Fighting to survive. Fighting to be someone. Once you become aware of the issue, it is hard not to notice it every day on the streets of St. Cloud and other local communities.

What We're Reading

Things Fall Apart

By Chinua Achebe

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Things Fall Apart is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe's critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa's cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man's futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political and religious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order.

With more than 20 million copies sold and translated into fifty-seven languages, Things Fall Apart provides one of the most illuminating and permanent monuments to African experience. Achebe does not only capture life in a pre-colonial African village, he conveys the tragedy of the loss of that world while broadening our understanding of our contemporary realities.

Order the book

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