Rep. Ilhan Omar is ANSWFL Keynote Speaker in November Gala!

It is confirmed! Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minnesota State Representative District 60B), the first Somali immigrant to be elected into office in USA will be African Network of SW Florida Gala’s keynote speaker on November 11th, 2017. The theme of this year’s gala is The Majestic Women of Africa. We plan to dedicate the entire gala on showcasing the greatness of the African women regardless of where they are. Ilhan’s incredible life story epitomizes the best of this. She has risen to the top against some unimaginable odds against her. Her intelligence, determination, courage, concern for others, beauty (in and out) and love for peace are some of her qualities that truly symbolize the best of the majestic African woman.
First, due to the political chaos in her home country of Somalia, Ilhan was for many years a refugee in Kenya. Fast forward, like many of us, she immigrated to USA to seek a better life for herself and her children. As she settled in her newfound home, she decided to share her message of love and strength in unity and diversity with as many people as possible. After a while, she realized that if she was in an elected office, she could get a forum to pass the same message to a wider audience of  the American people. And that was her platform for the campaign – “let us embrace our unity and diversity”, she said repeatedly. She was the bright star in championing the motto of America – E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, One). In spite of the innocence in her message, Ilhan was shocked by the opposition she encountered. The odds were stuck against her. Many powerful politicians camped in her district to oppose her election. The incumbent at the time had served in the same position for 44 years – started 10 years before Ilhan was born! After all that and many other odds, Ilhan won and is today the proud representative of District 60B of Minnesota. She is also the House Deputy Minority Leader. Her most cherished roles however are being a mother to her three beautiful children and a wife to her wonderful husband, Ahmed.
Members of the African Network of SW Florida are excited to have our sister Ilhan Omar join us as we are showcase the majesty of the African woman. She symbolizes everything African Network of SW Florida stand for as stipulated in our mission and vision. We are truly honored to have a person of the stature of Ilhan as our keynote speaker.

More details on the gala will be posted later. The following info is confirmed:
Date and Time: November 11th, 2017. Reception: 5:00PM. Main function: 6:00PM – 10:00PM
Venue: Crowne Plaza, 13051 Bell Tower Dr, Fort Myers, FL 33907
Theme: The Majestic Women of Africa
Attire: African or business. You can order your African attire now from Mary Adebayo at Tel. no. 405 361 0555
Please get your tickets early. You may contact the Organizing Committee Chairperson Yvonne Roberts at

See Ilhan Omar’s Official Bio below

Ilhan Omar is an experienced Twin Cities policy analyst, organizer, public speaker and advocate. She was recently elected as the Minnesota House Representative for District 60B, making her the highest-elected Somali-American public official in the United States. Ilhan is the Assistant Minority Leader, with assignments to three house committees; Civil Law & Data Practices Policy, Higher Education & Career Readiness Policy and Finance, and State Government Finance. In addition to serving in the legislature, Ilhan is a mother of three and the Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women, where she empowers East African women to take civic leadership roles in their community. Born in Somalia, Ilhan and her family fled the country’s civil war when she was eight. The family spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States in 1990s.