College of Education and Human Development wordmark.

McNair Scholar 2011Osman A. Ahmed

Osman A. Ahmed is a senior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, double majoring in political science and global studies. His research interests are human rights, immigration and labor. Mr. Ahmed plans on getting his Ph.D. in political science and J.D. in international law.

Osman A. Ahmed photo
My dream is to start a children's school in a poor country to invest in kids at a young age. It's my dream to speak for the voiceless and fight against inequality.

Research project

The Experiences of Somali Meatpackers: The Case of Willmar, Minnesota

Abstract: Thousands of Somali refugees have settled in the United States, specifically in Minnesota, since Somalia’s civil war erupted in 1991. Many migrated to different rural and smaller cities for the purpose of finding sustainable jobs. Meat processing plants in the rural areas provided jobs, attracted large numbers of Somalis in the past decade. Meatpacking is one of the most dangerous jobs in America because of its physical demands, swift pace of the working conditions. Much like other immigrants before them, Somalis are facing challenges in these meat packing jobs. By conducting interviews with Somali meatpackers and Somali community leaders in Willmar, Minnesota, this study investigated the experiences of Somalis in the meat processing plants and communities, particularly in Willmar. The findings show that Somali meat packers face health and safety issues, as well as cultural and religious challenges. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Barbara Frey is Director of the Human Rights Program, and Assistant Professor in the Institute for Global Studies, College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Frey received her BA in American studies from University of Notre Dame. Also, Frey earned her J.D. from University of Wisconsin. Her research interests focus on Human Rights advocacy, small arms impacts on human rights, and immigration issues. Frey has published articles and reviews in a number of human rights and international law journals.