Connecting Communities Circle: the Somali Community

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 19:00 in Discussion Forums

Where: Dialogue Society,402 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PZ
Date: 13th February 2013
Time: 19:00


  • Councillor Rakhia Ismail, Holloway Ward, LB of Islington
  • Bashir Yusuf, Director, Enfield Somali Community Association
  • Amina Ali, Founder, Muslim Women for Labour and Somali Friends of Labour; Vice-Chair, Tower Hamlets CLP; Chair of the Local Fabian Society


Part of the Dialogue Society Connecting Communities Circles project, this event will focus on the identities, history, interests and challenges of the Somali community in London. The informal discussion will bring together representatives of the local Somali community and Dialogue Society staff and friends. Speakers from the Somali community will give their perspectives on their own community, focusing on the following topics: history, family, education, business and cultural groupings/divisions.

Introduction to Connecting Communities Circles

The Dialogue Society’s Connecting Communities Circles project aims to build understanding of and connections between different ethnic groups in London (particularly in Islington and surrounding boroughs).

The project will consist of a series of informal discussion events or ‘circles’. Initially, each event will focus on a different ethnic group represented locally. A panel of five speakers belonging to that group will be invited to talk about topics related to the community’s history, identity and particular interests and challenges. The main topics proposed for discussion will be:

  • History
  • Family
  • Education
  • Business
  • Cultural groupings/divisions within the ethnic community

Speakers will be invited to talk for around 15 minutes each. Other members of the community in question will be invited to attend, along with Dialogue Society staff and a small number of interested contacts. The group will be small (approximately 15 people) and the atmosphere is intended to be relaxed and informal. Seating will be arranged in a circle to facilitate conversation. Refreshments will be provided.

The initial events will build participants’ understandings of different ethnic groups and lay the foundations for collaboration and for future initiatives bringing different groups together.

Aims and Objectives

  • To build understanding of and relationships with different ethnic communities in London, and particularly in the local area
  • To lay the foundations for new connections between different communities
  • To enable the Dialogue Society to respond better to the interests and concerns of those communities in designing and promoting its projects
  • To inform further initiatives to make fruitful connections or address community issues, (for example, inter-communal events or helpful introductions)

The Circles:

1. Connecting Communities Circle with Members of the Somali Community

2. Connecting Communities Circle with Members of the Bangladeshi Community

3. Connecting Communities Circle: the Pakistani Community