Catholic Charities Staffer Joins Human Relations Commission
(Tennessee Register)

Posted 06/20/2014

Abdishakur Mohamed, employment coordinator for Catholic Charities of Tennessee's Refugee Services department, recently was sworn in as a member of the Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County Human Relations Commission. He will serve a two year term through April 2016.

The Human Relations Commission was established to resolve complaints and carry out educational programs related to discrimination in a variety of forms, including, but not limited to, employment, housing, financial services and commercial transactions, public accommodations, city activities and services, and educational programs and opportunities.

Born in Somalia, Mohamed arrived in the United States as a refugee from that war-torn country on Feb. 24, 2004. He was resettled in Middle Tennessee by Catholic Charities of Tennessee.

Although eager to work, and typically found out in the community on an interview or filling out applications, he was challenged in finding significant employment which did not involve physical labor. Mohamed was stricken by polio as an infant.

In mid-2005, Catholic Charities was seeking to find an individual to serve as an employment counselor, working with newly arrived refugees to help them prepare for self-sufficiency through permanent employment.

"There was no one more perfect for the employment job than the guy who spoke with every employer and interviewed a million different times," recently recalled Jennifer Escue, Catholic Charities' Refugee Services Youth and Elders Program coordinator. "It was like his whole service period was this training period for how to be an effective employment specialist."

The support and encouragement Mohamed received ten years ago is a primary motivator for his becoming involved with the Human Relations Commission today.

"After I lived in Nashville for ten years and realized that the city is very diverse and welcoming, I decided to join this Commission," he said. "I would like to help the people of this city as they helped me when I first arrived."

Abdishakur Mohamed is married and has one daughter. He and his wife are expecting a second child in the fall.

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