“Hawo’s Dinner Party” | Shelbyville Multimedia

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Adapted from the film Welcome to Shelbyville
directed and produced by Kim A. Snyder

“Hawo’s Dinner Party”

Hawo's Dinner Party

CLICK HERE to purchase “Hawo’s Dinner Party” on DVD, including a printed copy of the Recipes and Discussion Guide!

Watch the full module online below!

Click here to learn how organizations are using the module.

With tensions mounting between the U.S. and the Muslim world, integrating newcomers from those countries raises a whole set of sensitivities and challenges. That’s where ”Hawo’s Dinner Party: The New Face of Southern Hospitality”  comes in. This half-hour DVD serves as a tool for community leaders – including educators, clergy, law enforcement, public officials, and employers – who are helping to integrate newcomers with unique needs, often against considerable obstacles. By focusing on the experiences of several Somali residents in Shelbyville – including Hawo, a refugee and former nurse who now works at a local poultry processing plant, and Mohamed, the local imam – the module puts a human face on the complex issues we face in this time of increasing globalization. By following Hawo through ESL classes, a tense meeting with the local reporter who has little knowledge of the community he’s reporting about and, most importantly, into her living room for dinner with her newest neighbors and as she reflects on her flight from civil war, what it feels like to live in such a radically different culture and her vision for making this small town her permanent home, the viewer is invited to take a walk in her shoes. These scenes and interviews with longer-term residents provide the context necessary to address the growing distrust of Somalis, offering a valuable opportunity to reach out to them and others from Muslim majority countries, deepen discussions, break the ice around difficult issues, and enhance cultural competency among service providers. Resources to support these activities include a Recipes and Discussion Guide, Event Planning Toolkit and Facilitation Guide and an online Recipes section on this site.

Click here to view “Hawo’s Dinner Party” with subtitles in Arabic.

“Hawo’s Dinner Party” was adapted from the documentary Welcome to Shelbyville, directed and produced by Kim A. Snyder and executive produced by BeCause Foundation in association with Active Voice. It was developed with generous support from Open Society Foundations and Andrus Family Fund. For more information, please contact [email protected].


Hawo’s Dinner Party Guide
The “Hawo’s Dinner Party” Recipes and Discussion Guide (pdf: 700 KB) comes complete with question prompts, a frequently asked questions section and recipes from the cast of Welcome to Shelbyville to help community leaders – including clergy, educators, law enforcement and public officials – use the module to make their communities safer, welcoming and more inclusive. The “Hawo’s Dinner Party” Event Planning Toolkit and Facilitation Guide (pdf: 3 MB) is designed as a step-by-step guide for leaders who would like to use the module in a public setting and to ensure a high-impact and successful screening event.