Lewiston teacher to discuss diversity in communities

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AUBURN — Lewiston English teacher Patti MacKinnon will be the featured speaker at noon Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club meeting at the Village Inn.

MacKinnon has been teaching English and ELL at Lewiston High School for the past 12 years and works primarily with the immigrant and refugee population. Prior to coming to Maine, MacKinnon directed language schools in South Korea and in San Francisco, California. Around 2004, she read about the influx of Somalis in Lewiston and was intrigued by the possibility of helping them integrate, so she came to Maine.

Last year, MacKinnon and a group of Lewiston students formed a Celebrate Diversity Club to build cross-cultural understanding and acceptance by bringing people of diverse backgrounds together to share stories, food, music, dance and other cultural activities.

MacKinnon lives in Brunswick and is a member of the Brunswick Coastal Rotary Club. She spends a good part of her summer with the indigenous villagers in Guatemala working on the Safe Water for Guatemala Project she and her daughter formed several years ago.

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MacKinnon will speak about her experiences with the African immigrant community and her mission to build cross-cultural understanding and acceptance in local communities.

Several of her students will share their personal stories of immigration and integration into the Lewiston community.

Lunch is available at the restaurant, located at 165 High St. Reservations are not required.

FMI: 207-753-9040, mmillhime@wmca.org, www.lewistonauburnrotary.org, facebook.com/lewistonmainerotary/.

Patti MacKinnon

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