Zainab Mohsini, a first-generation Afghan-American, is from Aloha, Oregon. In 2003, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees placed Zainab and her family in Oregon when she was about 14 years old. Zainab and her family moved to the Northern Virginia area nearly 14 years ago. After finishing high school, Zainab attended Northern Virginia Community College while working full-time in multiple jobs. She later transferred to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. While pursuing her undergraduate education, Zainab held several retail, food services, and clerical positions. In 2015, she became the first person in her family to graduate college.
Similar to many college graduates, Zainab entered the workforce weighed down by debt and survived by accepting jobs in the gig economy. Without privileged connections necessary to secure a permanent position, Zainab worked as a temp in unfavorable office conditions. Despite laboring at these temp jobs, Zainab consistently found time to give back to her local community by volunteering at immigrant organizations. Her desire to be more involved in social activism led Zainab to complete two terms as an AmeriCorps member at a college equity non-profit organization. In her role, Zainab supported individuals, with similar experiences as her own, navigate the economic and social realities of being a low-income student. Additionally in this position, Zainab led trainings on racial justice, women’s rights, and LGBTQ+ issues.
Zainab fights for change through canvassing, phone-banking, protesting, and supporting progressive candidates and policies. She also teaches citizenship classes, volunteers at community clinics, and consistently finds ways to support those within her community. Zainab knows firsthand what it's like to face poverty, live paycheck to paycheck, the effects of discrimination because of your name, class, religion, sex, or skin color. Therefore, she continues to fight for basic rights. Zainab wants to re-center politics around working people so that our government works for the majority, those struggling to make ends meet, not for corporate interests of the rich and powerful.