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Life & Work with Sabrina Abdalla

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sabrina Abdalla.

Hi Sabrina, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in the most “diverse” city in Utah, West Valley City. The majority of people who live there now are racial minorities. Of course, that was still not enough to combat the systemic inequalities and racial disparities I experienced or witnessed. It wasn’t until I went to the University of Utah for my undergrad, did I realize how bad the lack of diversity was! Adjusting to that was a battle, but I was blessed enough to be brought up around diverse groups of people and parents who upheld a lot of our Somali cultural values. I grew up with a sense of assurance about who I was and what it means to be a Black Muslim Woman navigating America. Those navigational tools were what led me to seek companionship in folks who looked like me – so naturally, I gravitated towards communities that made me feel safe. Being in sisterhood and community with them made me realize my passion for cultural inclusivity, representation, and the different ways art can reshape the public consciousness. During my senior year of college, I moved to New York City on an exchange program, and through that journey, I have grown into the woman of my dreams.

I am an educator, multidimensional creative, and the founder of Cirri, a creative wellness platform that magnifies the essence of Black girls, women, and femmes through art programming, collective empowerment, and community engagement. I birthed Cirri in 2019 and was reallyyyy inspired to preserve Somali ancestral wisdom through it. Cirri means secret in Swahili and Chimini, a dialect spoken in South Somalia. I hope that Cirri can be the mountain created for us to lean on to share the secrets to a more imaginative culture.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
A bumpy road doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not on the right journey. I am working to wholeheartedly surrender to my path and put my trust in the most high. The biggest challenge is that I can get in my own way and question the amount of space I take up. It’s a constant internal battle of questioning if I am resilient enough to handle the magnitude of my dreams. When I do get into that space, I just think about the journey and the experiences that shaped me to be who I am. I learned that creating my path and being a champion in it takes time, authenticity, awareness, and I believe it’s a forever thing – I call that constant battle a holy war.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a multidimensional professional. I love art, I love creating, I love learning, I love storytelling, I love community. Above all, I love making people feel seen. I specialize in creating digital spheres and experiences rooted in cultural inclusivity. I am most proud of myself for not being defined by societal norms. I struggled for a very long time to find a title that I felt represented the entirety of me and now I finally embraced that I am multifaceted. I am proud of my authenticity and trusting in my divine path. I am so proud of the community of friends I cultivated – who inspire me to be the best version of myself.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I don’t know if I fit into a specific industry. My passion sits at the intersection of community, tech, art, and education. These industries are shifting quickly to being more digital & convenient to reach more people. The digital sphere is growing; I believe that we’ll see more niche spaces – enough to where people can directly go to where they feel the most seen and represented.

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Image Credits:

Image credit: @viervisuals @nes_thetics @bykierrajenae

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