AchieveMpls, the nonprofit partner of Minneapolis Public Schools, has created a memorial fund to benefit the family of school board member Hussein Samatar, who died of leukemia on Aug. 25. He is survived by his wife, Ubah, and four children. Contributions can be made at any Bremer Bank branch with a personal check, money order or cash designated to the Hussein Samatar Memorial Fund.
In 2010, Samatar became the first Somali-American elected to public office in Minnesota when he won a seat on the Minneapolis school board. Samatar served on the audit, finance and teaching and learning committees.
"A native of Somalia, Samatar provided a strong voice for all MPS students, especially immigrant students and children of immigrant parents," AchieveMpls said in a news release. "During his tenure, MPS began collecting academic results for English learners. As a result, academic data and information are now available in four languages: English, Somali, Spanish and Hmong."
Samatar was also co-chair of the referendum committee that helped win approval for the $60 million schools levy in 2008.
A fierce community advocate, Samatar also founded the African Development Center, an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that works within the African communities in Minnesota to start and sustain businesses.