Ilays Aden is a Somali American activist who has lived in Washington D.C. and Seattle. She attended University of Washington, where she studied Economics and African Studies, and American University for law school. She has been an advocate for immigrants and asylum seekers from all different backgrounds. She wants to continue her fight for social justice and equality.
Fathia Absie is a Somali American writer and filmmaker. Ms. Absie's first film is Broken Dreams, a documentary that explores the collective outcry against the recruitment of the Somali youth in Minnesota by religious fanatics. The case brought unwanted attention from the U.S. government to the Somali community in Minnesota and around the country. Following the disappearances of the young Somali men, the FBI launched the largest US counter-terrorism investigation since the 9/11 tragedy
Her second film is a narrative called The Lobby, a story about friendship and cultural differences. In 2014, Absie also published the graphic novel The Imperceptible Peacemaker, through the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. An allegory on vigilante justice, its superhero protagonist and a tech billionaire creates a suit that gives him the ability to become an invisible force for good, fighting tyranny and injustice around the world. Ms. Absie also worked with Twin Cities PBS where she hosted countless programs and the documentary, Giving Thanks!