Minnesota Female Genital Cutting Prevention and Outreach Project - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Minnesota Female Genital Cutting Prevention and Outreach Project

Working Group


  • International Institute of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Health
International Institute of Minnesota logo


  • The Minnesota Department of Human Services provided funding for the MDH Refugee and International Health Program and the International Institute of Minnesota (IIMN) to form and co-lead this Working Group.


  • The Minnesota Female Genital Cutting (FGC) Prevention and Outreach Working Group brings together diverse stakeholders to recommend, inform and coordinate FGC prevention and community engagement efforts in Minnesota.


  • Identify gaps in FGC prevention and community engagement efforts among Minnesota communities
  • Identify and develop effective FGC prevention and community engagement strategies for Minnesota communities
  • Identify and develop effective messaging for FGC prevention and community engagement
  • Pursue effective collaborations to achieve prevention and community engagement objectives
  • Develop recommendations for FGC prevention among Minnesota communities


  • Core Working Group: The Working Group, comprised of about 20 core members, will review findings, materials and results produced by the committees. The Working Group will develop recommendations that, once approved by the leads, will become official, public recommendations.
  • Committees: The Working Group will form committees on topics related to the group’s goals. Each committee will be led by a Working Group member and staffed by other Working Group members as well as additional stakeholders invited to participate.

Current Working Group and Committee Members

  • Amira Adawe, Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, Governor’s Office
  • Dr. Osman Ahmed (Harare), East African Health Project
  • Dr. Elizabeth Alabi, Hennepin Healthcare
  • Abyan Bashir, Hennepin County - Child Protection
  • Zahra Bashir, WellShare International
  • Phoebe Chastain, WellShare International
  • Dr. Danielle Dempsey, Hennepin Healthcare
  • Jody Fischenich, Nicollet County Public Health
  • Ellen Frerich, Minnesota Department of Health - Refugee Health
  • Adno Gatah, Park Nicollet
  • Margretta Getaweh, Planned Parenthood
  • Zeenat Haji, Planned Parenthood
  • Dr. Nancy Harper, University of Minnesota
  • Amal Hassan, Center for Victims of Torture
  • Fadumo Hassan, International Institute of Minnesota
  • Mustafa Hassan, African Immigrants Community Services
  • Wilhelmina Holder, New American Alliance for Development
  • Salma Hussein, Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota Council of Churches - Refugee Services, Mankato
  • Dermi Jarso, Community Leader
  • Rufo Jiru, Oromo Community of Minnesota
  • Rachel Johnson, Minnesota Children's Alliance
  • Fatiya Kabato, Community Leader
  • Adar Kahin, WellShare International
  • Safi Khalif, YIELD
  • Janelle Kuznia, Global Rights for Women
  • Ann Linde (co-lead), Minnesota Department of Health - Refugee and International Health
  • Mary Malotky, Hennepin County Medical Center
  • Dr. Stacene Maroushek, Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota
  • Charlotte McDonald, Department of Human Services - Child Safety
  • Nini Mentan, Public Health Professional
  • Ashley Mitchell, WellShare International
  • Seynab Miyer, International Institute of Minnesota
  • Fartun Mohamed, Health Professional / Educator
  • Imam Dr. Hassan Mohamud, Minnesota Da’wah Institute
  • Mimi Mohamud, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Maryam Nur, Community Leader
  • Pastor Melvin Parwon, Faith Leader
  • Munira Salad, University of Minnesota
  • Malinda Schmiechen, Aust Schmiechen, PA
  • Micaela Schuneman (co-lead), International Institute of Minnesota
  • Cheryl Thomas, Global Rights for Women
  • Hassan Ugas, Department of Human Services - Child Safety
  • Chiatuogu Ukaga, Center for International Health
  • Mary Zelenak, Stearns County - Health Protection & Promotion
  • Dr. Anteneh Zewde, University of Minnesota

Graduate Fellow and Interns

  • Esther Mwangi, Graduate Fellow, Working Group
  • Audrey Hanson, Intern, Impacted Communities Committee
  • Ka Her, Intern, Other Professionals Committee
  • Ebyan Abdisalam, Intern, Healthcare Committee
  • Dave Kahat, Intern, Healthcare Committee
  • Madeline Buck, Intern, Legal and Law Enforcement Committee


  • Impacted Communities Engagement and Education (leads: Wilhelmina Holder and Rufo Jiru)
  • Legal and Law Enforcement (leads: Malinda Schmiechen and Janelle Kuznia)
  • Healthcare (leads: Dr. Stacene Maroushek and Esther Mwangi)
  • Other Professionals / Broader Community Engagement and Education (lead: Charlotte McDonald)

Grant Program

  • FGC Prevention and Outreach Grant Program
    MDH will provide one-time grants to organizations with cultural competence in Minnesota communities that are impacted by female genital cutting (FGC), supporting community-led efforts to educate and inform communities of the health risks and emotional trauma inflicted by FGC practices and the criminal penalties associated with FGC.

For questions about the FGC Prevention and Outreach Working Group or Grant Program, contact:

Ann Linde
Updated Wednesday, 19-Jun-2019 08:43:20 CDT