After sitting with Siad Ali for an hour, it became clear Siad is very perceptive about many issues facing immigrants and has dedicated time and efforts to ensure issues are addressed and resolved appropriately. His story is the result of Voices Magazine’s selection of Ali as one of its Extraordinary persons featured in this edition.
Ali shared his background as a Somalian living in India where he studied and acquired a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees in business and commerce. Ali’s migration to the United States had its challenges but he likened it to every other immigrant who faced challenges. This display of humility appeared to be the hallmark of Ali’s journey. Ali lamented when asked what drives him to focus his work on behalf of immigrants, “Immigrants have challenges, particularly dealing with immigration and educational issues.” Ali went on to acquire another Master’s degree in Education from the University of Minnesota in 2007.
Ali was elected in November 2014 to the Minneapolis School Board where he currently serves. When asked how his story can help others Ali said, “students need to work very hard. Any person can achieve whatever, but there should be no shortcuts for hardships. Education is the key to helping you move forward. Getting a diploma is a gateway to better employment.” Ali played a leading role in getting graduation rates increased by about 20% in the Minneapolis School District as an elected school board member.
Ali seemed ecstatic about his work and looks forward to doing more on behalf of the immigrant community. He concluded, “Voices Magazine is a platform to build bridges that provide understanding between diverse cultures.” Ali is the current Outreach Director for US Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office in Minneapolis.