Center for Bridging Communities

Somali arts and culture

The mission of the Center for Bridging Communities is to enrich the lives of refugee Somali students in the San Diego area by providing services and educational programs that promote academic excellence.  Programs are designed to help refugee Somali students successfully complete high school and pursue higher education, enabling them to become independent, productive, contributing members of society.  Programs include the Center’s Cultural Dialogues, which bring together Somali elders and youth in a positive environment of exchange.  Youth-driven discussions foster self-esteem as cultural and artistic knowledge is shared between generations.

In 2007, a grant from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program supported the Center’s Buraanbur Conference.  This event brought together women poets, cultural activist and scholars to reflect upon the art of Buraanbur, or Somali women’s poetry.  The event provided an opportunity to teach young refugee high school girls the art of Buraanbur.   Artists and panelists included Fadumo Ali Nakruma, a singer, actress and Buraanbur poet; Sahra Muse, a poet whose recitation is in demand at wedding ceremonies; Saeed Salah, musican and filmmaker; and Amina Cali Mire, a human rights activist.