Fartun Weli


About Me

Who is Fartun Weli, MPH, MAPP

I am an independent thinker and an activist for the common good. I am allergic to racism, so I am an advocate for radical change. I have been described as a compassionate matriarch, a fearless leader, and a change-maker, who is relentless in my advocacy for the well-being of women and their families.

I am focused on finding strength-based solutions for immigrant and refugee women and their families and other people whose voices are not heard yet. I am a persistent bridge-builder and believe in the concept of “teaching people how to fish.”


In 2010, I founded Isuroon, an impact organization, with a focus on empowering Somali women. At the time, the organization was focused on Somali women’s reproductive healthcare needs. Over time, Isuroon has broadened its focus to include women and their families’ health, social connectedness, economic self-sufficiency, and civic engagement.

As a bridge-builder between communities and a change-maker, I believe it is important for people to be civically engaged. My personal vision is a world where women and their families are healthy, connected and empowered and their families are thriving. Women and their families are exiting poverty; achieving economic self-sufficiency, and building cultural bridges.


L-R Fartun Weli with Isuroon staff members (Asha Ahmed, Waris and Leyla Ahmed) at the Hennepin County Government Center where they successfully advocated to open a culturally-specific Halal food shelf to address food insecurity for Muslim immigrants and refugees.

When I was a child growing up in Somalia, I remember that my family never ate dinner because we were poor. Our mother was a widow with six kids, who worked hard at a government job to feed us breakfast and lunch. We never had enough food around the house, so addressing food insecurity is very personal to me. When people are malnourished, they are unable to focus and accomplish their educational, personal, and career goals.

 The goal right now is to make sure that we address food insecurity and stabilization of families.


My advocacy effort includes interacting with lawmakers from all parties. The Democrat senator Hoffman and the Republican senator Abeler are the best role models that I have the privilege of knowing. These two lawmakers collaborate and do fantastic work for Minnesotans, especially people living with a disability. The two serve as an example of leaders putting differences aside and cooperating for the sake of the people they serve.

We had worked on legislative measures under my direction at Isuroon to support Isuroon/BIPOC and also fight against bills like one that focused on FGC. The bill’s text stated that “Every Young Muslim girl traveling from Minnesota to Africa should be examined/have her privates photographed and compared to when they return to see whether FGC was performed.”

terrible idea for a law. The Senators worked to stop it even though it had passed the house.



Accepting My Infertility

I love children, and I always wanted my own, but because of premature ovarian failure, I was not able to conceive and struggled many years to accept it. I can say that now I am at peace. As result, I have been supporting couples who are tying to conceive while also pushing back the idea of Childless women being treated as a 2nd class citizen. Now my life is complete because of my nieces and nephews.