Mar 27, 2023
There is intention and beauty in the naming of The Person Center. Its founder, Amelia Missielidies, wanted the women she served, survivors of domestic and sexual violence who were African immigrants and refugees to recognize the value of their personhood. As an Ethiopian and a social worker, Amelia understood what American service providers could not, that the experience these women shared: war, conflict, and migration, requires a trauma-informed approach to healing. After Amelia’s passing, her mentee, Lul Mohamud, stepped up to carry on and even deepen her impact. Lul describes The Person Center as guided by “the beauty of collectivism”, lessons from the community that she both comes from and serves. Instead of expecting marginalized women, some with uncertain immigration status to come to them to report abuse, Lul, a Somalian-American public health expert, and her team invest time in African immigrant and refugee communities, building trust, conducting informal needs assessments, and training community members to advocate for each other. She is collecting data for academic research, including the whole community in outreach and training, and advocating for a broader set of community needs, from healthcare to housing. Lul is an inspiration.