Join PAYCE Fellow Jeffrey Simmons (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University) as he profiles Abshir Omar Mahamed, a 26-year-old Somali refugee and Muslim, who made the bold decision to run for the Des Moines City Council. Although Abshir did not win the council seat, the change that he was able to make in the Des Moines is far from over. Abshir’s story is one that relates to us all. We all have diverse backgrounds, and we all face hardship, but that does not mean that we can’t make a difference in our communities.
Fatima Hashem (ANNU PAYCE Fellow) connects the lines in the story of Drake University student and school board member Josh Hughes. He does the hard work of serving on the school board because of his “original motivator.” His identity as a gay teen and his commitment to fighting for public education moved him to action. He advises young people to do self-care because their voices are needed. “Find out why you want to get involved .” There will be times when its hard to keep going, but that motivator will be what makes it all “make sense.” Fatima challenge each listener to decide: “When will you make that journey into yourself?”
Music credits: “Epic Flight” from PremiumBeat by Immersive Music.
Peter McLaughlin serves as the Director of Elections and Candidate Research at Project Vote Smart in Des Moines, Iowa. Based on his interview with Peter and PAYCE colleague Rana Rishawi, PAYCE Fellow Justen Norcott (University of New Hampshire) shares Peter’s political upbringing and why Peter is committed to non-partisan research. The story concludes with Justen asking Peter for advice about crafting a career in politics. A passion for research shapes Peter’s current work, his enrollment in Drake University’s MPA program, and future plans.
At age 18, Josh Hughes learned there was an open seat on his rural school district board. He stepped up. A passionate advocate for public education, his service to the board brought a student’s perspective rarely heard. In this audio story, PAYCE Fellow Kelanie Crosswait (Drake University) tells as story based on her and PAYCE Fellow Fatima Hashem’s conversation with Josh. He shares advice for young adults getting involved in politics – how to keep going when things get tough and to remember the values that motivated public service. He believes it’s important to advocate for good causes no matter what the outcome.
Ash Bruxvoort, an Iowa native, organizer at the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network, and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, speaks about her role in the community. Taylor Zitkus (University of Hartford) explores how Ash offers advice for women in the political realm, talks about the challenges she faces, and encourages young adults to become more involved.
Music credits: Title: “Inspirational Indie” and “Acoustic Inspiring” by Artist: Nazar Rybak http://www.hooksounds.com/
Join PAYCE Fellow Jeffrey Simmons as he profiles Abshir Omar Mahamed, a 26 year old Somali refugee and Muslim, who made the bold decision to run for the Des Moines City Council. Although Abshir did not win the council seat, the change that he was able to make in the Des Moines is far from over. Abshir’s story is one that relates to us all. We all have diverse backgrounds, and we all face hardship, but that does not mean that we can’t make a difference in our communities.