Hiba Al Hasnawi

Open Door Learning Centers (Literacy Minnesota)

Hiba Al Hasnawi is a returning VISTA who served one year with Literacy Minnesota’s Open Door Learning Center at Arlington Hills, and a second year as a VISTA Leader with Literacy Minnesota. She has a degree in mechanical engineering and moved from Iraq to the United States just a few years ago, but today Hiba is embracing her passion for education and connecting people to resources. She is excited to continue with our cohort in her third year of service! In her spare time, she volunteers with the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project (IARP) to help coordinate cultural exchange trips between sister cities of Minneapolis and Najaf.

Project description:

The Literacy Leader will employ grassroots community engagement and outreach strategies in six Open Door Learning Centers to establish an organizational culture that centers adult learners’ voices and decision making. Because our learner community (primarily low-income immigrant and refugees) is built upon students’ connections and referrals, we hope that by implementing deeper community engagement practices we increase the number of students served and hours spent in learning, so that students can build critical literacy skills that create pathways out of poverty. Critical literacy gives people skills to navigate social systems and the resources to empower themselves. 

Photograph of Hiba, a smiling woman who has dark red hair.