“IN THE BEGINNING”
Thursday, June 29th, 6:30-7:45pm
Camden Public Library
This topic will focus on each woman’s story and how they evolved. Their story may be about the beginning of a long and arduous journey; can be of an impactful moment in time; may demonstrate that beginnings are just that, only the beginning or something else entirely. It’s their story, their beginning.
Meghan Vigeant – Owner & Oral Historian, Stories To Tell
ZamZam Mohamud – Liaison to Lewiston’s Somali Immigrant Community
Kathleen Meil – Clean Energy Advocate & 2016 Candidate for Maine House
Facilitator: Jesse Ellison, Contributing Editor Downeast Magazine
Organizer: Judy Gushee, Midcoast Women’s Collective
Meghan Vigeant, Owner and Oral Historian, Stories to Tell
Meghan Vigeant (pronounced Ve jaunt) is an oral historian and writer. She studied radio documentary at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2006. She worked in public radio and conducted research for historical museums before turning her focus toward oral history work. From 2009 to 2011 she served as the Island Institute Fellow on Swan’s Island where she led the community to re-document their history after a fire, produced a series of oral histories and documentaries, and wrote Guts, Feathers, and All: Stories of Hard Work and Good Times on Swan’s Island, Maine. Four years ago she started her oral history business, Stories To Tell, to help individuals, families, and organizations save their stories as books and audio productions.
Zamzam Mohamud, Liaison to Lewiston’s Somali Immigrant Community
“ZamZam Mohamud arrived in Lewiston in November, 2001 with two small children and $40 to her name. She was among the first of a wave of immigrants from Somalia. She’s since become the first Somali immigrant on the city’s school board and emerged as a boundary-blurring local power player, a fixer, even a town father. Shortly after arrival, ZamZam’s 8-year-old son stepped on a broken VCR, badly injuring his foot. She took him to the emergency room at Central Maine Medical Center. The nurse who helped them was struck by her command of English and the nurse asked whether she could help translate for another Somali patient. Initially, ZamZam resisted, doubting whether she’d be able to communicate medical terminology. But the hospital had asked for her help, so she said yes. That was ZamZam’s third day in Lewiston., and she’s worked for the hospital virtually ever since. She kept working on her English and started getting involved in things — all kinds of things. Gradually, ZamZam started taking on some official roles. She was appointed to the Mayor’s Downtown Neighborhood Task Force, then the Police Department’s Civil Rights Team. In 2011, she ran for Lewiston school board as a write-in candidate. She was the runner-up, but two years later, the mayor appointed and then reappointed her to the board to fill vacant seats, making ZamZam the first Somali representative to serve the city in any official capacity.”
– From DownEast Magazine, January 2016, http://downeast.com/zamzam-mohamud/
Kathleen Meil, Clean Energy Advocate & 2016 Candidate for Maine House
Kathleen Meil is a clean energy advocate with a strong background in education, science, and community development. She earned a Masters in Elementary Education in 1999 and taught in public and independent schools and community organizations for a decade before beginning her work in Maine’s green economy. As Marketing Manager at Evergreen Home Performance, she educated homeowners about the environmental and economic power of energy efficiency. That sparked increasing interest and expertise in energy policy, and led her to Acadia Center, where she works to implement program initiatives on clean energy, energy efficiency, electrification, and community energy. Kathleen has been active in Rockport town government since 2011, and her 2016 campaign to represent Maine House District 94 emphasized comprehensive energy policy and environmental sustainability; strong schools and equitable education funding; and healthy, resilient communities.