Hudda Ibrahim, a current Ed.D. student at Saint Mary’s, started Diverse Voices Press to “give attention to the unheard voices of refugees, immigrants, and other underrepresented people, affirming their limitless capacity for resilience and success.”
Ibrahim, who is Somali, is a living example. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in 2013, a master’s degree in 2015, and is now working to earn a Doctor of Education and Leadership degree. She also works tirelessly within the areas of diversity and inclusion, cultural competency, and unconscious bias in her faculty position at St. Cloud Technical and Community College.
In addition, in her spare time, she’s authored six children’s books including “From Somalia to Snow”; “What Color is My Hijab?”; “Basra Wants to Be a Paramedic”; and “Mohamed Goes to the Moon” — all to show young Muslim children, and all children, that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up.
“We believe when we read books that represent different abilities, cultures, beliefs, and skin colors, we tend to change our attitude toward those differences,” she said. Ibrahim draws inspiration from her surroundings and her experiences.
“My 7-year-old niece is the one who inspired me to write ‘What Color is my Hijab?’, she said. “One day she asked me, ‘Why don’t I see people who look like me in the books?’ From that moment, I started to research, look at trends, and meet with kids to do mini interviews. My best ideas come at 2 a.m., and I keep a notepad by my bed to write them down.”
Diverse Voices Press publishes high-quality books for adults, teens, and children with a goal of creating lifelong readers and lifelong learners. Lifelong learning is clearly important to Ibrahim who has appreciated her time at Saint Mary’s and its mission to awaken, nurture and empower learners.