Celebrating Lillian Seenoi-Barr: Advocate, Leader, and Historic Mayor

Our woman crush today is Kenyan-born Northern Irish politician and councilor, Lillian Seenoi-Barr.

[Photo Credit: Instagram @lillian_seenoi]


In a world of social justice and community advocacy, few names resonate powerfully as Lillian Seenoi-Barr @lillian_seenoi. Her diligent commitment to human rights, equality, and integration has changed several lives and serves as a beacon of inspiration for women worldwide.

Lillian’s journey began in Kenya, where she was born and raised in a rural Maasai community. Her early life was marked by challenges that many girls face in patriarchal communities, including limited access to education and opportunities.

However, her determination to rise above obstacles fueled her passion. She pursued her education and eventually became an active campaigner for gender rights among Massai women, focusing on forced marriage and female gender mutilation. In the end, she was forced to move to Northern Ireland, due to threats to her safety.

As an immigrant in Northern Ireland, Lillian soon became involved in social justice. In 2012, she founded the North West Migrants Forum (NWMF), and became its programme manager. Under her leadership, the forum became a powerful voice for marginalized communities, offering adequate support to them.

Lillian also spearheaded the establishment of the annual Africa Day celebration in Northern Ireland, an event that fosters a sense of unity and belonging among varied groups. As a politician, she is a member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party.

Recently, Lillian marked a historic milestone by becoming the first black mayor in Northern Ireland. On June 3, 2024, she was installed as Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Lillian’s story remains a testament to the power of resilience and the impact one individual can have on their community and beyond. She is not only a source of inspiration to the Massai community, but to many young women and aspiring activists.

Lillian Seenoi-Barr represents the essence of what it means to be a true Woman Crush Wednesday. We celebrate her achievements, her dedication to human rights and her role as a leader. We celebrate her as a true champion of justice and an example of hope for all!

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Written by monsurat

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