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Connect Programs

We believe connecting starts inward with self, then bravely grows outward into relationships that reach across divides.  Our youth need opportunities to explore their cultural heritage, history, and homeland in order to understand their identity as they go out into the world as connectors and peacemakers.

Resettlement is not a 3 month journey. Resettlement and integration is a generational story. At The Urban Village, we're embedded in this story and we see our community's desire to be both connected to their cultural identity and their current societal context. 

We believe that a more rooted and culturally connected youth is a youth more poised and ready to launch into their broader Minnesota community. See how our programs below help us accomplish this. 


Heritage, History, Homeland cohort.

The Urban Village


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Karen and Karenni History Archive

The Urban Village/Online/onsite upon request

Year Round


Karen and Karenni community events

In Saint Paul and greater Minnesota

Multiple dates

Through this curriculum, we create opportunities for Karen and Karenni youth to remain connected to their cultural identity and language. This cohort program emphasizes intersectionality and the understanding of identity. We apply these concepts in an intimate cohort context in the hopes of growing the connection to our students heritage, history, and homeland. As students embrace their own identity, our program partners with other local communities to engage their connection and empathy for stories that reflect our broader Minnesota community.

Empowered by our youths desire to know their own history, The Urban Village is currently developing the worlds first youth directed Karen and Karenni history archive. This archive will be centered on primary source interviews from voices in Myanmar, Thai refugee camps, and the global diaspora communities but will also include reading materials and other resources important to understanding this important history. Upon completion, this archive will be made available and acessable to all via our website. Stay tuned! Acknowledgment: "This work is funded in part by the Minnesota Humanities Center with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008."

The Urban Village sponsors and organizes many Karen and Karenni community events and festivals throughout the year. We include and empower our youth to be drivers of these events as well as attenders. These events include but are not limited to... Karen Martyrs Day Karen New Year Karen Wrist Tying Ceremony Karenni DeKu Festival Karenni Kay Toe Boe Festival

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Sign up for programs

If you would like to use our space, have ideas for how to partner, or are interested in volunteering for any of the above programs, please fill out the information below!

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