The Women’s Center hosted a talk on campus last night with Ilhan Omar, Minnesota House Representative for District 60B. Rep. Omar made history this past November as the first Somali-American, Muslim woman to hold an office at this level. Over 300 community members from the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities joined us for the talk, where Rep. Omar shared her journey to holding political office. The event happened to fall on International Muslim Women’s Day, as Rep. Omar shared with the audience.
Felicia Philibert, U of M student, founder of the student group Women for Political Change, and a former intern for Rep. Omar introduced our speaker for the evening. Rep. Omar talked about why representational diversity is important but just one step in the fight for equity, and also shared a bit about the issues she is advocating for as Representative, including supporting college student parents and pushing to provide two days of paid leave for Minnesotans observing religious holidays.
Rep. Omar’s talk was followed by a Q&A moderated by University of Minnesota alumnae Lulete Mola, who happens to be a good friend as well as a constituent of Rep. Omar’s. Lulete wrote about her experience witnessing Rep. Omar’s election this past fall, and what it meant to her.
Thank you to Representative Ilhan Omar for sharing your story and wisdom with us! Thank you as well to Lulete Mola, Felicia Philibert, Women for Political Change, Feminist Ambassador Brigade, and our wonderful volunteers for supporting this event! And, of course, big shout out to all the community members who joined us last night!