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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Managing Stress and Anxiety

Academic, interpersonal, and job pressures can take their toll on you, if you let them. Your ability to succeed in life and as a leader is dependent on your own personal state of health and well-being. In this lunchtime session, learn effective techniques to manage the stress and anxiety of daily life.

Friday, Oct. 16  |  Noon to 1 p.m.  |  SMC Campus Center, Room 351


Deborah LeviCollaboration, People, University LifeOctober 6, 20150 comments
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African Ancestry

African Ancestry: Where Are Your People From?

It is difficult to believe that such a simple question could cause bewilderment and angst.  However, to many people of African descent living in the Americas and the Caribbean, this question, along with a true sense of their heritage, remains unknown.  As a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, many of the descendants of the 12 million to 15 million people transported from Africa to be enslaved in the western hemisphere have been left unaware of their African ancestry.

African Ancestry and ISLSI Help Students Discover Family Origins

With the help of African Ancestry, the Office of Interprofessional Student Learning and Service Initiatives (ISLSI) was able to take the mystery out of family origin for four University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) students.

Ancestry Reveal

On Thursday, Feb. 5, Valencia Barnes (SOD), Ayana Gallego (SOD), Naeem Thompson (SSW), and Tanika Wiggins (SSW) gathered in front of their peers at the SMC Campus Center stage to learn their ancestry results. They were selected during a United Students of African Descent event in November and asked to provide oral swabs for DNA testing. Their DNA was then compared to the indigenous African genetic sequences of African ethnic groups dating back to more than 500 years ago.

Tanika Wiggins’ DNA revealed maternal ancestry in regions which represent the three present-day countries of Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau. She describes the experience: “Learning that I have ancestry in three African countries was more than I had expected. From this experience I hope to take this information and continue to find out more about my ancestry and research the specifics of the tribes, people, and culture in all of the countries.”

The Ancestry Reveal with African Ancestry was part of ISLSI’s Black History Month which falls under the department’s Diversity Celebrations.

Photo caption: Tanika Wiggins, second-year SSW student and African ancestry winner. Her countries of ancestry? Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau. Photo by Clancy Clawson.

Courtney JonesEducation, People, UMB News, University LifeFebruary 20, 20150 comments
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Presenters/Volunteers Needed for ChristmaHannuKwanza: A Winter Celebration

Interprofessional Student Learning & Service Initiatives (ISLSI) would like to partner with you to celebrate and learn more about the unique traditions and celebrations occurring in various cultures and religions during the winter months.

About the Event

This event is scheduled for Monday, Dec 15 from noon to 2 p.m. in the SMC Campus Center Fireplace Lounge. Volunteers are needed to serve as presenters at this event and  to represent people from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds.

Each cultural and religious celebration will give a 10 minute presentation on the practices and meaning of their traditions.

Spread the word and email Ebony Nicholson if you and your group are interested in presenting at this event.

All are welcome and food will be provided!

Additional Contacts for Information

Pam Miller, program manager, 410-706-1478
Courtney Jones, director of ISLSI, 410-706-7438

Ebony NicholsonUniversity LifeNovember 21, 20141 comment
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Moveable Feast

Service Learning Project for Moveable Feast

Spots are available for students to participate in a service learning project for Moveable Feast on Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers will help prepare and package nutritious foods and other services in order to preserve quality of life for people with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening conditions.

Moveable Feast is located at 901 N. Milton Ave., Baltimore, MD 21205.

Please note there are only 10 volunteer spots available. Contact Courtney Jones in the Office of Interprofessional Service Learning and Student Initiatives if you are interested in participating.

Volunteers will meet at Moveable Feast by 10 a.m.

Courtney JonesCollaboration, For B'more, Global & Community Engagement, University LifeNovember 13, 20140 comments
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Women's History Month

Women’s History Month 2014

Join the Office of Academic and Student Affairs as we celebrate Women’s History Month!

Why Women’s History Month?

With roots that can be traced back to 1978, the first celebration of Women’s History Month began in Santa Rosa, Calif., as an unofficial women’s history week, which involved more than 100 women sharing special presentations in the classrooms of local school communities, an essay competition, and a parade.

After news of the great success in Santa Rosa spread, the movement quickly grew. In February of 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced that the week of March 8 – International Women’s Day – would become National Women’s History Week. By 1986, 14 states had already declared the entire month of March as Women’s History Month. One year later, Congress agreed and announced it officially.

Join in the celebration of all who continue to struggle for women’s rights and equality!

WHM Programming

If I Knew Then, What I Know Now: Words of Wisdom to My Younger Self

Wednesday, March 12
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Southern Management Corporation (SMC) Campus Center, First Floor

This drop-in event, allows participants to provide words of encouragement to their younger selves regarding womanhood, body image, self-esteem, bullying, or any other childhood concern.

Body Image Panel and Interactive Board

Tuesday, March 25
Noon to 2 p.m.
SMC Campus Center, Room 351

Eating disorders know no size, shape, or gender. Learn more about the struggles that graduate students face, what campus leaders are doing to help our community, and how you can make a difference with others in the fight for a life free of eating disorders.

Register on The Elm.

Spotlight Artists: Shawnisha Hester & Margie Hatch

Friday, March 28
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
SMC Campus Center, Elm Ballrooms

University of Maryland School of Social Work students display images of woman and girls at work and play from various parts of the world.

Register on The Elm.

Vagina Monologues: Presented by University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Students and Staff

Friday, March 28
7 to 9 p.m.
SMC Campus Center Elm Ballrooms

The voices of women from different walks of life are brought to life by a cast of our very own campus community members.

Register on The Elm.

RAD Self-Defense Training

Saturday, March 29 and April 5
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

In recognition of Women’s History Month, URecFit, the Office of Accountability and Compliance, and the Office of Interprofessional Student Learning and Service Initiatives are collaborating to offer a two-day training aimed at enhancing personal safety. This didactic and hands-on training will provide practical options for responding to acts of violence against women.

There is a small cost for participation – $10 for UMB students, staff, faculty, UMMC, and UMMC affiliates. The cost is $20 for guests and the general public.

Register in person at UrecFit.

Courtney JonesFor B'more, Global & Community Engagement, People, University LifeMarch 10, 20140 comments
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Poverty Simulation Next Monday

On Monday, Oct. 7, students, faculty, and staff will gather in the Southern Management Corporation (SMC) Campus Center for the first poverty simulation of the 2013-2014 academic year.

Within two hours, participants will simulate one month in the life of a family experiencing poverty. Participants will face challenges related to food, housing, transportation, and security in an effort to bring the experience of poverty closer to home.

If you are interested in increasing your awareness of the challenges faced by those living in poverty, come participate in this eye-opening event!

For more information, see the video or visit the event page.

Sophia ChambersBulletin Board, Education, University LifeOctober 3, 20131 comment
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National Hispanic Heritage Month

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate the group’s heritage and culture. Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.

Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on Sept. 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza), which is Oct. 12.

The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic, and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.”

According to this census, 50.5 million people or 16 percent of the population in the U.S. are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13 percent of the total U.S. population.


SPOTLIGHT MUSICIAN: Hector Aguiniga (Mariachi band)
Sept. 23, Noon to 2 p.m.
Southern Management Corporation (SMC) Campus Center, first floor
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are proud to present Hector Aguiniga as our spotlight musician. Taking a break from studying or simply passing through? Take a moment to enjoy this month’s featured musician.

Sept. 25, 1 to 2 p.m.
SMC Campus Center, Room 203
Latino immigrants face significant health and legal challenges while on the road to citizenship. LGBT Latinos face even more difficulties. This program will give real-life voices to the ongoing discussion of immigrant rights and equality.

Sept. 25, Noon to 1:30 p.m.
SMC Campus Center, first floor and prefunction lounge
We are proud to exhibit the works of Elle Perez in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Meet the artist whose work is on display all month long.

Oct. 3, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
SMC Campus Center, fireplace lounge
Love to dance? Try something new! Watch and learn traditional salsa dancing. It’s a fiesta!

Kim WoodardFor B'more, University LifeSeptember 9, 20130 comments
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