Appreciation or Appropriation?

  For our project, our goal was to bring attention to cultural appropriation, which is a societal issue that is seldom addressed. We wanted to help others understand how much they can negatively impact and oppress certain racial groups by ignoring the historical context of and borrowing another’s culture. In order to achieve this goal, we interviewed a sample of UMBC students and asked them 5-6 questions regarding the topic of cultural appropriation. Our interview questions were meant to gauge our interviewees’ feelings and knowledge about the individual effects of cultural appropriation, specifically the appropriation of Black culture. We managed to gather a diverse sample of people with varying amounts of knowledge on the topic in order to successfully create a 7-8 minute video on the prevalence and significance of Black cultural appropriation. Continue reading


You Can Play Day

We started the You Can Play Day at UMBC when we recognized the lack of recognition and inclusion that LGBTQ students received in collegiate-level sports. From our very own experience with UMBC sports, we realized that there is a deep level of fear and stigma around having close contact between homosexual and heterosexual athletes, such as in the locker rooms. This, along with the problem of trans-inclusion sports, are the main focuses of our event.

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The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Change at the Local Level

The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Change at the Local Level

         The Syrian Refugee Crisis has been a globally controversial topic as a surge of newcomers are seeking asylum in developed countries, with some having a hard time settling and adjusting into their new environment. Because of the magnitude of this problem, our group decided to help Syrian refugees in our own way by starting a clothing drive for individuals within our local community. Continue reading

Refugee Youth Project


Mention of the term “refugee” is likely to incur a wide array of reactions in our present social economy where the word has been highly politicized. Exploring this word in terms of politics often overshadows the reality that refugees are in fact people representing a broad spectrum of class, race, religion, and gender. They find themselves in the harrowing position of choosing between their homes and their lives. Being a refugee is not an elected identity, but one of dreadful circumstance.

The Refugee Youth Project is working with the community to create a sustainable solution to the affected people displaced by war and other hardships so they can thrive in new spaces. My job within this program was to act as a tutor and mentor for middle and high school students, mainly from Burma/Myanmar. Previous to entering into this program, I had little understanding of the circumstances of military dictatorship which have shaped the great divides within this country over the past sixty years. Continue reading

UMBC Gender Inclusive Housing

When we first started this project, we knew very little about UMBC’s Gender Inclusive housing option. The information available on it was scarce and outdated. In addition, both our individual experiences and the experiences we’d heard about from others who had applied for Gender Inclusive Housing (GIH) in the past made us concerned for the situation. We’d heard that RAs and those in Living Learning Communities were not allowed to participate in Gender Inclusive Housing. We experienced being assigned an apartment instead of getting to choose where we live like those in standard housing. We were told that someone’s Gender Inclusive Housing application was denied. It seemed to us as though many aspects of the Gender Inclusive housing process were at best, inconvenient, and at worst, outright discriminatory. Continue reading

Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrome, A Survivor Story About Awareness and Hope

fullsizeoutput_2665As a Sergeant in the United States Army station at Fort Bragg, NC and a single mother, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Kimar on August 20, 2007 at 33 weeks weighting 4lbs 4oz and 18in long, she was a healthy premature baby girl and stay three weeks in the NICU.  Kimar meet all the development milestone by age one for be a premature baby.  October was going great, I was promoted to Staff Sergeant on October 1, 2008 and reenlisted on October 22, 2008 for 6 years more years in the Army but things change October 29, 2008 when Kimar became a victim of Abusive Head Trauma (AHT) also know Continue reading

Ruby Nell Sales, An Activist to Be Remembered

Throughout history, there have been many inspirational women who have impacted the fight for social and racial justice. Ruby Nell Sales, an African-American social activist, was born in Jemison, Alabama and raised in segregated Columbus, Georgia. As a child, Sales’ parents often spoke about the inequity of the society they lived in, but Sales did not fight the same way about racial tensions until her late teens when she became aware of the effects on her and others’ lives.


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