African American Voices

Finding Peace and Strength in the Northwoods

James Edward Mills of The Joy Trip Project worked with the National Forest Foundation to create The Black Men Northwoods Retreat. Below are stories from four of the men that were part of the trip to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Photos takes by James Edward Mills I’m the world’s first African American diabetic to complete

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Black Men Northwoods Retreat

“It’s important for all of us to work towards acceptance.”

Dr. Bola: “My husband, Philips, got a job in the Paper Valley and we moved here 20 years ago. Photos by Megan Monday I’m a professor of multicultural education now, but at that time I was just finishing up my PhD from Penn State. Appleton appealed to me because I am a small-town person. I’m

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Dr. Bola and Philips | Appleton, WI

“When I came back to America, I became more confident in who I was.”

My mom and dad are both from Somalia, and they came to the United States with their families when they were really young. They were fleeing the civil war in Somalia. Photos by Kara Counard “For the first 14 years of my life, I lived in Minnesota. In Minneapolis there’s a huge Somali population, but

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Yasmin Nur | Green Bay, WI

“I see myself as someone who knows both cultures—American and Somali.”

I grew up in Mogadishu, Somalia. Somalis have a very close culture, we take care of each other. If someone doesn’t have a car, you take them to work. If someone is not making enough money, we help them with the rent by chipping in. If something tragic happens, like someone becomes sick or gets

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Mohamud Farah | Barron, WI