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Building stronger partnerships: Tri-Faith partners with USDA in two-day summit

Posted at 8:39 AM, May 17, 2024

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Faith leaders from across the county have came to the Tri-Faith Initiative for a two-day summit in partnership with the USDA. It has a Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Abdulkadir Moalim was one of the hundreds of faith leaders attending the summit at the Tri-Faith Initiative. He serves as the president of the Somali Community of Siouxland and attends a mosque just outside of Sioux City, Iowa.

He was invited by the USDA and the Tri-Faith Initiative to talk about his experience being Muslim in rural America.

"Sometimes it feels like you being ignored, but we still find solutions to that," said Moalim. "We actually come together."

Last year, the Biden-Harris administration asked every federal agency to commit to actions to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate.

Samantha Joseph leads this initiative at the USDA. She said the department, because of its agricultural work, has strong connections to rural communities, which makes facilitating these conversations a little easier.

"Really thinking about people who live in rural America, making sure that each one of them, regardless of their gender, race, or religion, can live in safety and dignity is really important," said Joseph.

Greg Holzman is a part of the Montana Jewish Project, was also invited by Tri-Faith to share his experiences as a Jewish man in a rural community.

He said attending this summit gives him not just a greater perspective on his religion, but other religions too.

"As someone said here, I like the word 'pro-human,'" said Holzman.

The USDA said Tri-Faith was chosen for the summit because of its uniqueness of having a mosque, temple, and church all on the same land.

"The idea that they were building community through co-location of Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. It just seemed like the perfect place for us to have this meeting," said Joseph.

Ultimately, building relationships and stronger, more welcoming communities.