Representative Ilhan Omar, the first elected Somali American woman, spoke at Ohio Wesleyan University on March 21, 2017.
Elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives on Nov 8, 2016, Ilhan Omar is a policy analyst, community organizer, community educator and mother of three.
Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia in 1982, Ms. Omar's family fled the country in 1991 when the civil war began, and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp. In 1995, the family emigrated to the U.S., living briefly in Arlington, VA before resettling in Minneapolis, MN.
Ms. Omar became fluent in English after about three months, serving as her grandfather's translator at age 14. She volunteered as a student organizer in high school and later graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Studies.
Representative Omar began her historic term with the Minnesota House of Representatives on January 3, 2017, becoming the first Somali American legislator in the United States.
Learn more about the life and career of Ilhan Omar on Wikipedia and www.ilhanomar.com. View her video Ilhan Omar and the New American Dream on this website, here.
Listen to Ilhan Omar's March 21, 2017 speech at Ohio Wesleyan University here:
The 2017 Somali Independence Day Festival was a beautiful event attended by Somali Ohioans from all over the state. It took place at the Ohio History Connection museum at 800 E. 17th Ave in Columbus on Saturday, July 1st, 2017.