Mejdeen headshot

Emerson Fellow

Avyan Mejdeen

30th Class, 2023-2024

Having grown up in two different parts of the world, Kurdistan (Iraq) and Moorhead, Minnesota, Avyan Mejdeen was immersed in two different cultures. The experience has shaped her into an advocate fighting for the human rights of women, girls, and minorities; equal access to basic needs; and the Kurdish struggle for independence. Avyan graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead in 2022 with majors in Political Science and Global Studies, with a minor in Interfaith Studies. Avyan’s interest in anti-poverty and anti-hunger legislation stems from her personal experiences. She was raised in a low-income immigrant household with her parents and five siblings. She turned her challenges into opportunities by helping to raise awareness and advocating for others like her family through policies. Avyan was a political fellow at the Borgen Project where she helped mobilize Members of Congress in Minnesota to support policies on food insecurity and low-income housing. She has supported human rights through various outlets internationally and domestically, including as a Fulbright Scholar in Kosovo. She was also the first Muslim Interfaith Fellow selected at her undergrad institution serving as a coordinator that initiated and guided difficult discussions on religious divides between various religious groups on campus and in the community.

Field placement: Chicago Food Policy Action Council

Chicago, Illinois