Connection is Our Path Forward

by | Mar 2021

Ukasha Daka

Photo: Chris Emeott

Nonprofit exec asks, “What can we do for others?”

Ukasha Dakane has been an Edina resident for seven years. He is an extrovert whose interest in connecting led him on a journey from helping other East African immigrants forge a path in a new culture to a stop at the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast at the White House and a run for Edina City Council in 2020.

Dakane founded and is executive director of the Fortune Relief and Youth Empowerment Organization (FRAYEO) that has helped countless immigrant youth find employment and housing as well as how to deal with conflict and manage anger. He’s mentored 115 local youth to be community ambassadors. The work earned him a 2018 Connecting with Kids Leadership Award.

Dakane sees a world that needs hope, togetherness and shared values. His experience meeting leaders from around the world have galvanized his enthusiasm for teamwork. He’s also interested in Edina’s climate action plan and joined Edina’s Energy & Environment Commission, and later decided to run for city council in order to help bring a diverse voice to local government and to give back to the community he calls home.

Despite not getting elected to city council, Dakane has no regrets about running for office. He loved every minute of connecting with Edina residents and says his next step is creating Iskaashi Talks, a collaborative effort to do what he loves most, bringing people and communities together in conversation.

Dakane’s outlook on life can likely be summed up in one of his favorite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Contributed by the Edina Community Foundation;


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