Deo Mwano serves a large community. Not just local, it spans the entire country. Drawing from often painful but instructive life experiences as well as an undergraduate and graduate education, Deo has much to offer to his community.
We Are All Human—a community discussion on race and inclusion created by Deo—provides a positive environment to discuss race and cultural differences. To better understand how improvements can be made, participants get opportunities to express their concerns and ask each other questions. By helping participants to fully confront their biases, the program has had much success in facilitating engagement.
“At times, it seems like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates too quickly into dehumanization. Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions. And this has strained our bonds of understanding and common purpose. At our best, we practice empathy, imagining ourselves in the lives and circumstances of others. This is the bridge across our nation’s deepest divisions. And it is not merely a matter of tolerance, but of learning from the struggles and stories of our fellow citizens, and finding our better selves in the process.” — George W. Bush
Partnering with Refugee Communities
Participating in Bringing Refuges, Immigrants, and Neighbors Gently Into Tomorrow (B.R.I.N.G.I.T.) has allowed Deo to work with teens from all over the world, including Nepal, Iraq, Liberia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Dominican Republic, Burundi, Haiti, Bosnia and Vietnam.
As a former refugees themselves, Deo and his family made it their mission to help other refugees acclimatize to American culture. To this end, refugee families, newly relocated to New Hampshire, were introduced to the Mwano family with the help of Sister Irene. Deo’s family helped with interpreting, providing clothing and teaching the basics of American life. His family’s passion to help other refugees led to Deo’s involvement with the afterschool program Bringing Refugees, Immigrants and Neighbors Gently Into Tomorrow (B.R.I.N.G.I.T.).
B.R.I.N.G.I.T. focuses on inner city youth development with a particular interest in refugees. Since 2008 Deo has been involved with this organization as a Creative Art Director. He has coordinated different events with local colleges to introduce B.R.I.N.G.I.T. students to the college experience. He has also provided college students with a refugee’s perspective and an opportunity to learn about many different cultures.
Using his skills in the performing arts, particularly dance, Deo provides guidance and discipline for teens. Over the years, Deo has seen some amazing achievements. Many of the teens under his wind have gone on to do great things.
You can find Deo involved with B.R.I.N.G.I.T. throughout the week. The program provides services to up to one hundred and sixty students per night.
Deo believes dance is a universal language that everyone can speak and use to connect with each other, regardless of social differences.
Deo finds refuge and freedom in choreographing and teaching dance. Dance has been an important tool for him to bond with people of all ages, sex, religions, and cultures in order to fulfill the common goal of self-expression.
Deo’s experience includes choreographing and teaching dance weekly at Movement From Above in Manchester (studio 550), New Hampshire, the city which he and his family now call home.