Minnesota made history nearly a year ago by electing Ilhan Omar, a Muslim Somali-American former refugee, to the state legislature. Ms. Omar has since gone on to inspire many with her fight for minority representation which hasn’t gone unnoticed by the media including Time magazine which next week will be featuring her on the cover of its September 18th issue. A very big deal.
Ms. Omar is listed among 45 other women (including Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay) who have all broken barriers in a quest to personally change the world.
In this interview, she speaks with Time about the role gender played in her election. “… my gender was a problem because politics is supposed to be a man’s role. Then there was the typical stuff that women candidates deal with — as a mother, how irresponsible I must be to want to run and devote as much time out of the home. No one ever asks the male candidates… I ended up pushing all of the negative things aside because I kept thinking, regardless of whether we win or lose, this will shift the narrative about what is possible….
“Being an immigrant, a refugee, Muslim—all of those things represent an otherness that is not typical or easily confined into the social fabric of this country. As someone who grew up never really having to feel less than, it’s a hard reality to wake up to when you’re 12. I had to figure out what it meant to be a bridge builder-—what it meant to forge relationships that really never existed becomes the backstory to how I ended up where I am.”
Be sure to CLICK for a video of her interview —