Events include grand opening of Sabathani Community Room
“Strong Past, Stronger Future” is the theme of Sabathani’s celebration of its 50th Anniversary. A South Minneapolis landmark, Sabathani Community Center was founded in 1966 to support African American youth in the Bryant neighborhood of South Minneapolis. In over 50 years it has grown to serve a diverse community of African American, Latino and Somali residents.
Today, Sabathani serves more than 31,000 people each year, or nearly eight percent of Minneapolis’ population. In 2015, 31,694 people found help through Sabathani’s programs and services.
Sabathani’s history in South Minneapolis is well known with programs that support thousands of families with a variety of resources, including fresh produce, clothing, shelter, after-school support, youth empowerment, financial education, training, work readiness, housing assistance, senior programming, diabetes prevention and more.
Executive Director Cindy Booker said, “We have served African American families for half a century. At the same time, African American individuals have led the community as civic activists, leaders, writers, teachers, artists, sports figures, news journalists and musical celebrities. The Sabathani Community Room will showcase the history and greatness of South Minneapolis residents.”
The Sabathani Community Room is an interactive exhibit with different themes including a Sports Room (featuring South Minneapolis-raised Sports celebrities), news room, classroom (featuring political leaders, civic activists, writers and educators), and a music and entertainment room (showcasing Minneapolis-raised musicians and entertainers).
The room also features a photo history of Sabathani sites through the decades, following it from places like the Sabathani Baptist Church to its residence today in the old Bryant Junior High School building. In addition to the many sites that have housed Sabathani, dozens of famous Minnesotans have assisted with its progress.
“We are excited to share Sabathani’s history, thank our supporters, and celebrate the success of the community,” said Booker. “We invite families, students, and residents of all ages to come to the event. Opening the Sabathani Community Room ensures that residents will be witness to the remarkable African American heritage of the neighborhood.”
The Grand Opening of “Strong Past, Stronger Future” will be held from 6-9 pm on Thursday, February 25. The event is open to the public. Free food and refreshments will be provided, and people will be able to donate to Sabathani or purchase 50th Anniversary memorabilia while enjoying Zumba demonstrations, singing, and dancing performances.
The Sabathani Community Room will open on the same day with the vibrant and heartfelt celebration it deserves in Twin Cities’ history.
This information was provided by Sabathani Community Center.