Wells Fargo "Naïve"?
November 16, 2004, 04:00 AM
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Our wonderful readers sent in two perfectly counterpoised stories this morning. The first is from Holland:

"[Dutch Immigration Minister Rita] Verdonk said that the Netherlands had been `naïve` in failing to deal with deep divisions in Dutch society. `For too long we have said we had a multi-cultural society and everyone would simply find each other. We were too naïve in thinking people would exist in society together,` she said."

"Anti-Muslim Dutch politicians in hiding after death threats," by Anthony Browne, The (London) Times.

The second is an internal memo from Wells Fargo Bank:

Supporting African immigrants

The Wells Fargo Twin Cities Leadership Fund recently contributed $25,000 to a local non-profit. African Development Center in Minneapolis will use the donation to support its start-up homebuyer education and training programs.

"Wells Fargo is excited about this opportunity to assist the African Development Center in helping new immigrants in becoming comfortable with the American financial system and buying a home," said David Wiese, Community Development representative. "This will provide an opportunity for Wells Fargo to work with this emerging market to reach its financial goals."

[From left to right: Halley, Samatar and Wiese pose with the $25,000 check.]

Founded two years ago by African business people, community organizers and credit counselors, the center helps African immigrants establish themselves economically in Minnesota.

The center is working to develop an urban community and state in which African immigrants, American culture, Islamic law and American finance coexist in a mutually supportive and productive way. The center works within Minnesota`s African communities to start and sustain successful businesses, assist families to build assets and promote community reinvestment.

"We`re excited about building momentum in the community," said Hussein Samatar, African Development Center executive director and former Wells Fargo Business Banking officer.

Samatar, who immigrated to the United States from Somalia nine years ago, said, "The center is only beginning to provide support to African-owned businesses and offering financial literacy programs and new opportunities for African immigrants and refugees."

The center offers financial literacy, home ownership and business development programs, with the hope of expanding and offering more programs as time goes on.

The Wells Fargo Twin Cities Leadership Fund was created 11 years ago by the Metropolitan Contributions Committee. The committee allocates $150,000 from its budget to support the time, talent and resources of Wells Fargo to benefit local non-profit organizations.

Editors: Mike Bares, 612-667-6704 or mike.bares@wellsfargo.com

Sarah Bjelland, 612-667-7225, global directory sarah.e.bjelland@wellsfargo.com

"African immigrants, American culture, Islamic law and American finance [my italics] coexist in a mutually supportive and productive way"?

Is that naïve…or what?