"Amina has built so much trust between us and the refugee community," Vokal said. "They really do go to her. She's really used this to channel her talents — she has a lot of charisma — into doing good. She has something to offer the whole community."
The program has also helped lifelong area residents get a better understanding about the city's latest wave of immigrants, Vokal said. Residents are recruited or volunteer to serve as "connectors" with the project. They also listen to stories, share information about themselves and build their own relationships with new friends.
"They sit in a group with refugees and participate like everyone else," she said. "That's been amazing because they take these stories back to their work places and families."
The Tapestry program has caught the attention of other law enforcement agencies in the area. Vokal said she has presentations scheduled at several agencies in Steele and Rice counties.
If you go What: Ceremony honoring the City of Mankato for winning the 2013 Community Policing Award from the International Association of Chiefs of police When: Monday at 6 p.m. Where: Downtown's Verizon Wireless Center Additional information: Two new police sergeants will be sworn in and officer Audrey Burgess will receive an award for saving someone's life