Ismahan Abdullahi, is a first-generation Somali-American woman who has lived in Denver, Colorado before moving to South Bay and then City Heights in San Diego, California. She currently works as the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) under the Division of Civic Engagement. Her career path towards political activism was inspired by her early childhood experiences and by many events she has witnessed amongst communities of color throughout her life. As a former UCSD student, Ismahan was involved as the President of UCSD’s Muslim Student Association (MSA), where she discovered her passion for fighting for justice and equality for African Americans. The interview covers topics such as her occupations in community advocacy, her family’s adjustment to the U.S. from Somalia, her educational background at UC San Diego, her cultural practices, and how COVID-19 has affected her lifestyle and her community. This interview pairing was arranged by Reem Zubaidi, the Health Policy and Communications Coordinator in the Refugee Health Unit. To adhere to CDC’s guidelines for safety measures and social distancing, this interview was conducted through Zoom by a first-generation senior student majoring in Human Biology and Double Minoring in Ethnic Studies and Chemistry, who is interested in community activism and advocating for diversity as a future physician.
July 7, 2020
Ismahan Abdullahi Oral History
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