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Creating Meaningful Change

Matuor Alier

– Director of Equity and Inclusion, Moorhead Public Schools
– Chair, City Of Fargo Human Relations Commission

Which country did you immigrate to America from?

I was born in South Sudan and grew up in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. So I came from Ethiopia.

Why did you choose Fargo-Moorhead when coming to America?

I landed in Philadelphia from Ethiopia. I had a family living here, so I came to Fargo to visit and I liked it, so I moved to Fargo.

What have been some of the biggest challenges in coming to a new country?

Language, cultural barriers, foods and adapting to the weather.

What can the community do to create fewer challenges for New Americans?

Help or volunteer to assist New American adapt to their new homes in Fargo. Helping with ESL is important too.

What do you think the community needs to understand about New Americans to help them feel more welcome and included?

Make them feel welcome, makes them feel like they belong here.

What has been the best and most exciting thing about living in America?

Freedom from any kind of fear. Remember, refugees left their homes because of fear.

Nolan P. Schmidt

Written by Nolan P. Schmidt

Nolan is the Editor of Fargo Monthly. Schmidt is also the Editor of Spotlight Media's Bison Illustrated and Future Farmer publications. He is originally from Bismarck, N.D. and is a proud graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead.

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