Luther presents guest lecturer Kadra Abdi on March 6

February 28, 2019

Luther College alumna Kadra Abdi, class of 2008, is a strategic consultant who spends her days helping minority businesses and nonprofits craft strategies and counteract the often-negative assumptions that arise between immigrant and mainstream communities. At 4 p.m. on March 6, she will speak at the Hammarskjold Lounge in the Dahl Centennial Union on the Luther campus.

This event is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Abdi’s lecture will focus on her experiences working with local and international NGOs and ultimately starting her company, Synergy Consulting, a research, community engagement and strategy consulting business. This lecture is an opportunity for students to learn how to lead fulfilling lives while following their passions.

A Somali native, Abdi moved with her family from a Kenyan refugee camp to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1996. Today, she acts as an active force in civil society, holding a graduate degree and owning two businesses, Iskaashi and Synergy Consulting Group. Despite all of her achievements, Abdi admits that she still faces many microaggressions such as comments about her lack of accent.

While in graduate school, Abdi worked with the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights. On a trip to Norway through this group, she connected with a Norwegian aid worker who had worked alongside Abdi’s father delivering aid in rural Somalia. Upon returning to the United States she began her own strategic initiatives, launching both of her business projects as a way to foster opportunities for sustainable change.

Abdi received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Luther College and her master’s in public policy from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Abdi’s lecture is supported by the Luther College Black Student Union and the women and gender studies and anthropology programs.

The Luther College Black Student Union is an organization that was established in the fall of 1968 by a group of students looking for a space to celebrate their culture and accomplishments and share in their struggles. The yearlong commemoration of the 50th anniversary of this organization formally commenced during homecoming 2018 on the weekend of Oct. 26. It continues with a calendar of lectures, speakers and other events to commemorate BSU’s 50th anniversary. More information about these upcoming events is available at

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: