By Filipina Storyteller Mira Yusef
Mira Yusef is the co-founder and current executive director of Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa and co-founder and steering committee member of the National Organization of Asian Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV). She was a December 2007 recipient of a Masters in Social Work with specialization on Community Organizing and Masters of Arts on Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship from 2004-2005 to the Philippines to pursue a research on Muslim Filipina domestic workers working in Muslim households in the Middle East. Ms. Yusef was also a recipient of Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, Community-Based Initiative (CBI) Fellowship, and the Non-Profit and Public Management Support Awardees while attending University of Michigan, Ann Arbor for her master’s degree in Social Work and Southeast Asian Studies. She received the National Security Education Program (NSEP) David Boren Fellowship in 2006 to study Indonesian at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor for one semester and to study Malaysian and to pursue her field research in Sabah, Malaysia for six months. Ms. Yusef finished her bachelor’s degree in History from Drake University in 2003. She was also a volunteer and an intern for the San Francisco Asian Women’s Shelter in its early days. Ms. Yusef immigrated to the United States from the Philippines as a teen.