Ilhan Omar represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The first Somali-American Member of Congress, the first woman of colour to represent Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress. Born in Mogadishu, Omar and her family fled war-torn Somalia and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before securing asylum in the U.S. and arriving in New York in 1995.

In this unique conversation with rapper and activist Lowkey, Omar will discuss her own incredible story and how the challenges, trauma and fear she has faced have shaped her political life, alongside her autobiography This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman.

Join Omar and Lowkey as they explore American idealism and identity, liberation movements and advocating for the rights of the people, and why Omar’s presence in US politics commands confrontation from the establishment, despite which, Omar continues to believe in the potential for change within the US political system.

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About The Speakers

Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar became the United States’ first Somali-American legislator in 2016 when she was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. Two years later she was elected to Congress as the Representative for Minnesota’s 5th district. She is a mother of three and her autobiography This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman was published in May 2020.

Lowkey Performing on stage

Lowkey

Lowkey is a hip-hop artist and political campaigner. He has worked with Immortal Technique, Wretch 32, Akala, Dead Prez and Outlawz. He is part of the super group Mongrel alongside members of the Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles and Reverend And The Makers. The band released their album Better than Heavy in tandem with the Independent newspaper.

His critically acclaimed music has received millions of streams on Spotify, sold over 25k albums digitally and garnered over 45 million YouTube views. His independently released album Soundtrack to the Struggle (2011) charted #6 in the UK RnB chart, #9 in the UK Indie chart, #14 in the UK Download chart and #57 in the UK Albums chart. He was included in MTV Base Best of the Best UK MCs two years in a row. Charting at #10 in 2010 and #7 in 2011.

His most recent album Soundtrack to the Struggle 2 featured Noam Chomsky, Frankie Boyle and Ken Loach alongside musicians like Maverick Sabre and has been streamed millions of times. His forthcoming projects promise to break further ground for independent political music.