Sahara Aden: Artist
In Washington Park, Sahara Aden is involved in Our Next Generation Inc., and she strives to create her own organization to help youth with self-esteem issues, an act of empathy that stems from once being confused, picked on, and in need of help. Aden was born in Kenya. She has been in Milwaukee since 2003 and has been involved in events at local neighborhood since 2005. Still in high school, she serves as an inspiration to many through her motivation to succeed and grow. Aden believes that embracing difference is crucial in order to create healthy communities. Her openness, positivity, and risk-taking have led her to create music and art of all sorts, but it remains important for her to find new things to learn and experience. She has built strong relationships with some previously guarded neighbors through acts of altruism— as simple as bringing charcoal over to a BBQ when neighbors were in need. She has reached a point with many of her neighbors where they know her and she knows them.
"You must struggle to succeed sometimes so you got to go through steps to get to where you want to go to," Aden said while discussing her time in Kenya then coming to America. She believes you need to experience differences and learn that beauty comes in so many shapes and sizes. Without difference, the world would be boring.
Aden talked at length about how togetherness and communication generates feelings of safety and overcomes boundaries based on difference, which she believes are created and reinforced by people themselves. When she described her ideal community she wanted empathy, communication, connection, and goals and that is something she sees in Washington Park.
Sahara Aden, interview by George Ananchev, Bridgette Binczak and Paula Chinato, June 2014.
Who is Sahara Aden? Here her describe herself and her life in her own words.