Cultural Jambalaya Diversity Awards

2018 Cultural Jambalaya Diversity Awards winners honored

Four inspirational Minnesota champions have been named recipients of the 2018 Cultural Jambalaya Diversity Awards, which honor those who have made a positive difference by advancing multiculturalism or ethnic diversity in their communities. The winners were selected for the creativity of their approach and the passion of their voice.

“These amazing recipients demonstrate a collective understanding of the cultures, ethnicities and races that make Minnesota a dynamic, prosperous and tolerant place,” said Ann Merrill, board chair of Cultural Jambalaya.

Videos of the winners were produced by filmmaker, Kevin May.

Aaisha Said, Ben Herstig, Miranda Shapiro & Ilham Nur –
Student Leaders
HHS Responds, Hopkins High School

HHS Responds is a group of student leaders that brings together culturally diverse students from all backgrounds and perspectives in a safe place to discuss cultural, political and ideological differences and controversial topics.  The students also participate in community discussions and meet with community leaders to share their perspectives about race and ethnicity.  Each year’s leaders will mentor new leaders to take over the group once they graduate so this important work can continue.

Indian Education Department, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS)
Anna Ross, Director

The Indian Education Department at MPS advances knowledge and understanding of Native cultures for Native students, families and educators.  Their work also benefits the broader student community through exposure to Native culture, history and perspective.  A national model, the department empowers all Native students as lifelong learners to become fully engaged citizens, leaders and stewards.

Nathaniel (Nate) Beulah
7th grade Ethnic Studies Teacher, Northeast Middle School, Minneapolis

Growing up in struggling circumstances as a young man of color, Nate Beulah overcame adversity to become a gifted educator who positively impacts the lives of his students.  He created unique curricula to teach 7th graders about differing ethnicities that make up our society by detailing their social justice contributions and how that impacts us all today.  He guides students to develop and use their inner voices to articulate their own struggles and feelings around social justice and social rights issues.  He challenges students to understand that they are the future leaders who will bring about change.

Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE), Minneapolis
Nausheena Hussain, Executive Director

RISE empowers Muslim women to take positions of leadership so they in turn inspire other Muslim women to seek places where decisions are being made, including civic engagement, community involvement and philanthropy.  Through the power of visual storytelling, RISE has become a platform to amplify the voice and power of Muslim women who are showcasing the changemakers, trailblazers and leaders that are impacting social justice in our society.

2018 Cultural Jambalaya Diversity Awards

The Diversity Awards were presented at Cultural Jambalaya’s annual gala on October 4, 2018.  Sponsors included Ciresi Conlin LLP, North Memorial Health, Tremendous! Entertainment, DS+B, Great Clips, Onward Investors, Connie Barry Foundation and Route 66 Productions.

2018 Diversity Award honorees:
Nausheena Hussain, Executive Director of Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE);  Ilham Nur, Miranda Shapiro and Aaisha Said of HHS Responds at Hopkins High School:  Anna Ross, Director of the Indian Education Department, Minneapolis Public Schools;  Nathaniel (Nate) Beulah, 7th grade Ethnic Studies Teacher, Northeast Middle School, Minneapolis.


Jearlyn Steele