Censored Women's Film Festival Reception and Keynote
Naima was born in Nairobi, Kenya, where her parents met shortly after her father fled there from Ethiopia as Oromo political refugees.
In 1989, she was resettled in the U.S. along with her parents and 4 younger siblings. Naima describes herself as an activist for human rights and women and girls' equity and protection. Her volunteerism and life experience as an African, a woman, and a refugee inform her passion for self-sufficiency and human dignity. She believes that poverty is usually, at its root, about imbalances of power and the lack of access to resources, that change is possible, and that solutions require good ideas, courage, and persistence.
She has more than 20 years' experience working with refugee and immigrant communities in the US and Africa and is currently the Program Director at Seed Program International, where she works with her team to develop women's empowerment programs using gardens as the safe space to discuss sensitive topics like FGM, mental health, and child marriage.