Fellow Year 1

Lula Saleh

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

Founder & Director (Journalist, Social Practice Artist, Cultural Entrepreneur & Human Rights Advocate)
East African Diaspora Artists Initiative

Lula Saleh is a journalist, poet/multidisciplinary artist, human rights advocate, cultural entrepreneur, facilitator, community organizer, researcher, and consultant. She is passionate about African Muslim diasporas, migrant and refugee human rights, faith and culture-based peace and development models, and healing justice.

She has held various roles in media and storytelling, arts-based organizing with African and Muslim immigrants in Minnesota, and community development. As the founder of the East African Diaspora Artists Initiative,  Lula has created platforms for peace and understanding between East African, Afro-Arab, and Black American Muslim diasporas. She’s a trainee-fellow with the African-Middle East Leadership Project (AMEL) for human rights, and a proud inaugural alum of the Intercultural Leadership Institute and the IMAN (Inner-city Muslim Action Network Chicago) Artist Roster. Lula is also an alum of the National Art Strategies Creative Communities Fellows, Institute on Political Journalism, and has received various fellowships and awards for her work in journalism, storytelling, arts advocacy, and human rights.

With ancestral roots in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia, she sees herself as cultural bridge-builder. As a social-practice artist, African cultural equity advocate and consultant, Lula has spoken at, performed for, or collaborated with: Amnesty International, So Far Sounds, TEDxMinneapolis, Yale University’s Africa Salon, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Pollen Midwest, The Loft Literary Center, Button Poetry, Intermedia Arts, Pangea World Theater, Green Card Voices, the Cedar Cultural Center, and more.

She dreams of a world in which the cultural, intellectual, and spiritual heritage of Africans and their descendants in the diaspora are recognized, their unique cosmological imprint on global civilization acknowledged, and their intergenerational traumas healed.

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