Minnesota’s young Muslim girls can finally see themselves in Congress

It was in Mrs. Gray’s fourth grade class that I was asked for the very first time, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some of my fellow classmates would say astronaut, teacher, and maybe one of the boys would yell out “president!” But no girl ever dared to say president. I saw no one who looked like me holding high levels of office. The principals of my elementary and middle schools were both white men. Every president I learned about was a white man. A seed was planted in my subconscious: These weren’t jobs, careers or titles a woman could dream of, let alone a little brown girl. How can I be what I cannot see?

But since then, I have seen evidence of my own right to be a leader in my Minnesota community. And one of those moments was last night, watching Ilhan Omar take the stage as our newest congressional official and one of the first two Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress.

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