ISLSI posts displayed by tag

Panel Discusses Latinx Community’s Successes, Challenges

Vanessa Gonzalez, diversity fellow with UMB’s Interprofessional Student Learning and Service Initiatives, facilitated a panel discussion with members of the Latinx community from Baltimore businesses and art- and community-based organizations Sept. 29 at the SMC Campus Center.

The discussion, titled “Adelante: Baltimore’s Booming Latinx Community,” covered the work and successes occurring in the Latinx community, difficulties the community has faced in Baltimore, and how to be an ally to the community, specifically those who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients or undocumented.

The panel started with a discussion of the Latinx community and stereotypes. The panel members agreed on the importance of recognizing that there is no one color or type of person who fits the definition of Latinx. Panel members Gustavo Minaya and Jesus Perez expressed the importance of understanding that members of the Latinx community are at different stages of documentation and, no matter their stage, they are contributing to society.

The discussion moved on to the work and successes the panel has seen in the Latinx community. Panel member Valeria Puentes discussed her work in organizing the SOMOS Latinx Art and Culture Festival last April and how it allowed for connections to be made throughout the city and provided a missing space for the community. The discussion also covered the role of CASA de Maryland in the community as well as the Esperanza Center, southeast high school Latinx groups, and Centro SOL.

Finally, the panel closed with how to be an ally for the Latinx community, specifically DACA recipients or undocumented. The panel recommended talking and working with members and organizations in the community to see what needs must be addressed and where your efforts would be most appreciated.

Elizabeth Gosselin University LifeOctober 12, 20170 comments
Read More
Black Lives Matter Conversation

A Conversation on “Black Lives Matter” and Beyond

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, Farajii Muhammad of the radio show “Listen Up!” facilitated a conversation with members of the UMB community on modern day activism. This group discussion covered the history of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, concepts of being an agent of change, and general activism tips for everyday people.

Muhammad defined a movement as “a momentum of activities created by singular incidents tied to one common cause or goal.” He drew on author Malcolm Gladwell’s concept of a “tipping point” – the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change (Gladwell, 2000) – in his definition of how the BLM movement and similar movements launched.

The discussion moved on to explore general concepts of activism. The facilitator outlined four key concepts of activism: (1) critical thinking; (2) consistency in the work and message; (3) being prepared to make people uncomfortable; and (4) having the ability to see “what could be” out of “what is broken.”

He also led an activity, “Activism 101,” where he outlined steps of activism. This event allowed attendees to explore their roles in social change, the importance of intersectional activism, and how to be a more engaged citizen. The program closed with a lively discussion on where to go for opportunities, resources, and how to stay abreast of the issues.

When asked about the event, ISLSI director, Courtney Jones Carney, stated: “in a time when many UMB students, staff, and faculty members are approaching our office searching for ways to get involved, this was a must-attend event.”

For more information on what ISLSI is doing or to request a training, please visit or email

Gladwell, Malcolm. 2000. The tipping point: how little things can make a big difference. Boston: Little, Brown.

Ebony Nicholson Education, For B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 13, 20170 comments
Read More

World Hijab Day 2017

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, five UMB Muslim hijabi women shared their experiences as practicing Muslims and the reasons why they chose a life of modesty.

Event moderator, Therwa Hamza, a postdoctoral fellow, shared that her choice to wear a hijab led to a conscious and devoted effort to live and dress modestly. She added that the hijab is not simply a head covering; for her, it is a call to display the principles of her religion.

Unlike the other panelists, Lauren Kareem of the UMB CURE Scholars Program, was not born into a Muslim family. She informed the audience that she is the first Muslim person in her immediate family. For Kareem, in addition to communicating her religious affiliation, the hijab has helped her to feel like part of a community. Many of the panelists stated, they are often greeted with “As-salāmu ʿalaykum,” which means peace be upon you, by strangers, while walking around Baltimore.

Other Panelists

Other panelists included, Hager El-Gendi, a PharmD student from the School of Pharmacy; Bashayer Baras, a PhD student in the Department of Biomaterial Studies; and Duaa Almarzooqui, a PhD candidate at the School of Nursing.


After the panelists and moderator shared their journeys toward wearing the hijab, the conversation was opened to audience questions, such as “What do you wear while swimming?” and “Do you feel safe in this country given the current anti-Muslim rhetoric?”

While none of the participants noted any recent anti-Muslim encounters, one audience member pointed out that her hijab communicates a very intimate detail of her life that is not visible when looking at non-Hijabi women. Her insight highlights the difficult choice of many Muslims to wear a symbol that indicates they practice a religion that is sometimes taboo in this country.


World Hijab Day provided the opportunity for individuals to share their stories, identify differences and similarities, learn from others, and form important allyships. Over 30 people attended this event, many of whom chose to wear a hijab for the remainder of the day.

For more information on ISLSI, or to request a training, please visit or email

Courtney Jones Carney Education, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAFebruary 7, 20172 comments
Read More
President's Fellows 2016

Apply to Be a President’s Fellow: Entrepreneurial Exploration

Do you have an interest in exploring Entrepreneurial Career Pathways?

We are now accepting applications for President’s Fellows who will spend the year discussing entrepreneurial exploration/alternative career paths. We are looking for students who are interested in being part of an interprofessional team that will be responsible for providing UMB leadership with recommendations regarding the preparation of students for entrepreneurial careers.


The deadline to apply for this opportunity is Friday, July 15, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.


Applicants will be notified of their selection status by mid to late-July. Please direct any questions to Interprofessional Student Learning & Service Initiatives at or 410-706-7438.

Ebony Nicholson Bulletin Board, Collaboration, People, UMB News, University LifeJune 28, 20160 comments
Read More
World Hijab Day

Hijab: Reasons, Assumptions, and Experiences

Feb. 1 is World Hijab Day. As part of a panel discussion, UMB students will share their experiences and motivations for wearing a hijab. Attendees will learn how to properly wear a hijab and can choose to stand in solidarity with Islamic women by donning one for the day.

Event Details

Feb. 1  |  Noon to 1 p.m.  |  SMC Campus Center, Room 351

Sponsored by ISLSI and the Muslim Students and Scholars Association.

Courtney Jones Bulletin Board, Education, People, University LifeFebruary 1, 20160 comments
Read More