Central Minnesota Teacher, Author, Writer & Visual Storyteller
I'm Anisa Hagi-Mohamed - a Somali-American author, writer, poet, visual artist and teacher. I am the author of My Diasporic Diary, a reflective journal for diaspora people. I'm also the creator of Kalsooni, the first ever deck of bilingual Somali-English affirmation cards.
Holding both bachelors and masters degrees in Applied Linguistics, I am an ESL teacher by profession. I came to the United States when I was five years old after my family fled from the civil war that broke out in Somalia in 1990. After living in IFO refugee camp in Kenya for a few years, my family were then resettled in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly after, we relocated to Fresno, California. Spending the majority of my life in Fresno, I then moved to Southern California in 2010. The nomadic journey continued as I made my journey to the midwest in 2016 where I completed my graduate school education. Currently, I live in Saint Cloud, Minnesota with my husband and three children. In my free time, I love to research, read, write and create visual stories about my passions: mental health, culture, language, identity and home.
- Close to 140,000 Social Media Followers - Gained 108,000 Youtube Subscribers uploading community-centered content between two channels as well as 38,000+ Facebook, 1,000 Twitter, 1,800+ Instagram and 200+ TikTok followers.
- Art Waterers Award Receipient (2021) - Nominated and received a gift in the form of an artist support grant for $11,000 through Art Waterer's Future Building Funding initiative.
- Kalsooni - Bilingual Somali-English Affirmation Cards. Created to empower and inspire my community and to help them center mental health and wellness. My goal is to have Kalsooni in every school, home, Masjid and community organization.
- My Diasporic Diary- Reflective Journal for Diaspora People Worldwide. Self-published in 2018, shortly after completing graduate schoool, I created this journal to help people with diasporic experiences "journal their journey" and produce a written legacy of their lives.
- Anti-Tobacco Campaign Posters - Commissioned to design 5 unique posters by Wellshare International These posters feature Somali people and bilingual messages relating to reducing / preventing tobacco use in our community.
- First Annual Somali Book Fair - Moderated the First Annaul Somali Book Fair held in Burnsville, Minnesota (June 19th, 2021). This fair featured over 20 Somali authors and had a huge community attendance.
- Somali Heritage Language Posters - Comissioned to Design 10 unique posters featuring Somali people and postiive language/phrases for Minneapolis School District's new Somali Heritage Language and Culture program.
- Build a Diverse Library - Campaign Funded Successfully crowdfunded a diverse children's book library for my classroom consisting of 36 books featuring characters from diverse backgrounds - Somali, Hmong, Mexican, AA, etc.
- Masters Thesis - Perceptions of Nonnative English-Speaking Graduate Teaching Assistants: Identity Issues, Successes, and Challenges in the Field of TESL/TESOL.
- Black Baccalaureate Graduation Speaker - Selected as student speaker to represent graduating class of 2014 (San Diego State University)
- Lyricality Organization - Somali Community Liason, Healining Circle Facilitator, Graphic Designer and Admin member for Lyricality Organization - a Central Minnesota Arts Organization seeking to highlight and celebrate Minnesota-based poets and storytellers. Also designed artwork for website.
- Neurodiversity Terminology in Somali - Organizing ongoing effort with other experts to create positive terminology in Somali regarding neurodiverse conditions such as autism, ADHD, OCD, etc.
- Somali Women Speak - Help facilitate a weekly community space online (held Sundays via Clubhouse) where Somali women come to discuss topics relating to shame, trauma, sisterhood, identity, childhood experiences and healing in general.
- Community Discussions Facilitator - Organize ongoing discussions via online platforms (COVID-19 friendly) - topics include but are not limited to: diasporic experiences, affirmations, mental health, family and community issues, neurodiversity, etc
- Cultural Competence Training - Delivered cultural competence training to a group of teachers at Success Academy School - discussed Somali culture, language, culture inclusive teaching practices
- Madison Elementary Leadership Team- Voted as ELL representative in leadership team at workplace (Madison Elementary). Worked closely with Admin and fellow teachers to accomplish school goals.
- Writing Tutor – San Diego Community College District- Continuing Education Pilot Transitioning Program San Diego Community College District- Continuing Education
- ESL Teacher - Mid-City - First Somali instructor to teach ESL in SCCCD - taught various courses from computer literacy to conversational English.
- First Year Services Mentor - Worked as a mentor for first year college students, especially those from minority / first generation backgrounds. Helped them in areas of class planning, goal-setting, accountability and exploring campus resources.
- Muslim Student Association President - Served as President and Vice President in two MSAs (Fresno City College & San Diego City College). Helped students find belonging, identity and a place to embrace faith and community.