Staff Profiles

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Jesse

Jesse was first introduced to the Karen community in 2011 when he was paired with a recently resettled family of 9. Growing in kinship with this family, Jesse soon became an active ally of the Karen community. He became a supporting partner of Karen led initiatives, art, celebrations, programs, etc. within the local Karen community in St. Paul. Jesse Founded the urban village alongside the community in 2019. In the last 10 years, he has stregthened relationships with Karen communities locally and globally.

Contact Jesse: urbanvillage.mn@gmail.com

Ku

Ku spent most of his early life in Mae La Refugee camp with his 10 brothers and sisters. He resettled to the United States by himself in 2008, starting in New York then moving to Minnesota to grow his music career. He became heavily involved in the Karen Baptist Conference as a regional youth leader. Ku really grew into his music career to become an international Karen music icon with hundreds of thousands of streams and downloads. He has grown and used his platform for activism and community support for Karen people around the world. In 2021 he graduated from Century College where he graduated with a Creative Arts: Video and Film making degree. In 2020 he started the Sound of Thumweh, a global Karen Singing completion that had over 200 entries. Additionally, Ku is the Co-Executive Director for the Urban Village. He leads and produces SOFT TV, a TV program that airs out of the Urban Village that seeks to educate, entertain, and inspire Karen people globally.

Contact Ku: urbanvillage.ku@gmail.com