Whittier and Lyndale hire a community organizer for the Somali community

The Lyndale and Whittier neighborhoods are partnering to hire a full-time community organizer working in the Somali community.


“The borders of neighborhoods can be somewhat arbitrary. This is especially true of the large Somali/East African community that straddles Lake Street, which is the boundary between Whittier and Lyndale,” wrote Lyndale’s Lead Community Organizer Jennifer Arnold in the December Lyndale Neighborhood News. “This new approach will allow us to work across the divide rather than split the community.”


Arnold said the new organizer is Osman Ahmed, who was born in Somalia, moved to Kenya during the war in Somalia, and moved to Eden Prairie at the age of 15. To quickly learn English, Ahmed initially read and wrote for three hours every night. He attended the University of Minnesota, studied abroad in Oman, and worked in Somali outreach for Keith Ellison’s congressional campaign and Betsy Hodges’ mayoral campaign.


“Osman is particularly excited about working for Lyndale and Whittier because he feels that neighborhoods are one of the few places where people have the opportunity to tangibly change their lives,” Arnold wrote.