January 16, 2012
Ruqayyah Ali ’14 thrives in a multicultural environment and strives to surround herself with individuals of different backgrounds. Whether examining stereotypes and global diversity as a critical media and cultural studies major or promoting multiculturalism as a member of several cultural organizations, Ali is committed to learning more about the world and the people in it. And she credits the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) with making that commitment possible.
During his “I Have a Dream Speech,” King laid out his dream. What is your dream?
My dream is to live in a world where stereotypes and prejudices are minimized, where people are judged by their actions and their words not by the color of their skin, religion, or race. After Rollins, I plan on becoming a lawyer because I hope to make the world a better place by fighting to provide people of different backgrounds with equal opportunities in America.
How does this dream drive what you’re studying?
I am constantly learning about the world around us—stereotypes, cultures, global diversity. Knowledge of these topics will hopefully help me to be well-rounded and unbiased in my future career.
What do you perceive to be the most pressing issue facing your generation?
Religious stereotypes, such as Islam is a terrorist religion, are perhaps the most pressing injustice.
How are you helping to make justice a reality?
I am involved on campus with several different cultural and religious organizations. By integrating these groups and helping to make Rollins a more multicultural environment, I am actively promoting diversity.
My vision for a diverse world encourages my involvement around and off campus and my being open to others. Being open has helped by develop a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. My involvement with OMA has also allowed me to work with a diverse group of open-minded people.
How are you working to end discrimination?
By participating in OMA and events for diversity at Rollins, I believe I am making a change to end discrimination. College students have a lot of influence on the world. If integration starts on campus, it has the potential to spread far and wide.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in becoming involved but aren’t sure where to start?
Start at the Office of Multicultural Affairs. My very first day on campus, I was taken to meet the director Mahjabeen Rafiuddin. Meeting Mahjabeen and the other fabulous members of OMA made me feel right at home. Their great visions and warmth definitely influenced my decision to become so involved on campus. And if after meeting these amazing people, you still aren't convinced about what to do, attend a cultural org meeting or event. You might see, hear, or decide there's something you like just by being there.
Rollins makes it easily available to us to make a change in the world from the start of our college careers. Take advantage of the opportunities given to you, so you can increase opportunities for others.
Honoring the life and legacy of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, MLK Celebration runs January 16-21. Join us in paying homage to King’s work toward equality and economic justice for all people.
By Laura J. Cole
Office of Marketing & Communications
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