Share Your Story

Share Your Story

Sunday, October 22 | 2:00-4:30 PM

ARCO, Cincinnati OH

Share Your Story

All of us have a story to tell. Hear just a few stories from international residents living in Cincinnati while seeking inspiration to share your own. Attendees will be given the opportunity to illustrate their story for a visual art project that will be presented at the festival’s culminating event. Several community partners will be in attendance to present their resources.

2-2:30pm Exhibition of Community Partners accompanied by MYCincinnati performers
2:30-2:40pm: Kate Currie of Maketank, Inc. introduction to “Share Your Story” visual art project
2:40-3:40pm: Panel moderated by Samantha Searls (Ignite Peace) with Mirsada Kadiric (Author, I Am a Refugee: Finding Home Again in America), Ibtisam Masto (Owner, Olive Tree Catering), and Alieu Nyassi (Executive Director, Operation Crossroads Africa)
3:40-4pm: Audience learning of “Take What You Need” by Reena Esmail to be performed on 10.25 as a community chorus
4-4:30pm: Exhibition of Community Partners continues

Refreshments will be available.

Exhibiting Community Partners as of 9.6

Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio
Cincinnati Compass
Cincinnati & Hamilton County Community Action Agency
Ignite Peace
Kentucky Refugee Ministries
Maketank, Inc.
Over-the-Rhine Museum

Meet the Presenters

Samantha Searls is a Program Director at Ignite Peace, formerly the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC). Samantha leads the work for immigration justice and facilitates nonviolence and anti-racism educational programming. As part of her role, Samantha coordinates the Immigrant Dignity Coalition, a collection of 43 organizations in the Greater Cincinnati area committed to addressing local immigration issues. Samantha has her Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Indianapolis. Prior to her time at Ignite Peace, Samantha served as a community organizer working on environmental, economic and social justice issues both in St. Louis and in Cincinnati.

Alieu B Nyassi is the Director of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity at Dayton Children’s Hospital. He support the hospital’s strategic efforts to ensure every child, regardless of ethnic, cultural, national or socio-economic background receives not only equal access but optimal equitable care. Nyassi also supports the hospital’s ability to intentionally recruit, develop, promote and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce. He provides the hospital’s workforce with targeted inclusion, diversity and cultural competence education to address, reduce and eliminate socio-economic, racial and ethnic disparities or unconscious bias in healthcare service delivery.

Born and raised in The Gambia in a small village called Penyem, he migrated to United States in January 1997 to pursue a college education.

Ever since coming to the United States, Ibtisam Masto was determined to have her own restaurant, to realize her own American Dream. It wasn’t until she started working with a local nonprofit RefugeeConnect who connected her to the FreshLo program. The FreshLo Chef Fellowship grew out of the local community’s desire for access to affordable, healthy, culturally-diverse food options. Ibtisam had the know-how and passion, but was held back due to language and a lack of connections and knowledge of how to navigate a new system of regulations and business. The Fellowship gave her an understanding of the local food system, introduced her to mentors and opportunities, assisted her in gaining employment in a supportive food business environment, and gave her direct support to start her own company, Olive Tree Catering.

Mirsada Kadiric was born in Bosnia and immigrated to the United States as a war refugee in the summer of ’98 when she was sixteen years old. Not speaking the English language, and unfamiliar with the American culture, Mirsada struggled to adjust to her new high school environment. She managed to graduate with honors and chose to attend Northern Kentucky University (NKU) for her undergraduate studies as it was a small enough school, allowing her to have access to her professors whenever she needed additional help.

She is currently employed at Kao USA, Inc. as a Senior Manager for the Analytics & Insights Center of Excellence. With the global refugee crisis unfolding in the news, Mirsada was moved to act and speak up for those who are facing the same struggles her and her family endured in the 90’s. She started volunteering with the local nonprofit organization called RefugeeConnect in 2017 where she currently serves on its board, and mentors two refugee girls, one from Syria and the other from Eritrea. Mirsada also serves on the board of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center where her story is featured as part of the humanity gallery.

On April 5th, 2018, Mirsada released her first book, titled “I Am a Refugee:  Finding Home Again in America”. The book is a memoir reflecting her personal story of a harrowing childhood journey in 1992 from war-torn Bosnia to Western Europe and finally to the United States.

Dr. Kate Carlier Currie is the executive director of the nonprofit organization Maketank Inc. and leads the Illustrated Memoir Project at Aiken High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. She spent many years as a working artist, pastry chef, and small business owner before shifting her focus to working with young people. She currently works with English Language Learner high school students to facilitate their creation of illustrated memoirs to provide a platform for immigrant and refugee youth to share their knowledge and experience, increase their intellectual self-trust, and foster a more vibrant and welcoming community.

View a Maketank, Inc. Project by Enock Sadiki

Learn about MYCincinnati


Oct 22 2023


2:00 pm


Price Hill

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