Social justice executive shares experience in world



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Amani Karim, sophomore, is a director of the social justice of the Indian Student Association. She wants to raise awareness of pulbic events and incidents in India and South East Asia to the community. Tae-Gyun Kim and Tae-Gyun Kim Buy Photos

Amani Karim can’t remember a time she wasn’t interested in social justice issues. The sophomore said she always cared about issues like poverty, especially because of her visits to Bangladesh to see her 
grandparents.

Karim is the Indian Student Association’s first social justice executive, whose job is to publish content on the organization’s website about social justice issues affecting the South Asian community. The position was created by last year’s 
executive board.

“I grew up seeing poverty, knowing that I had a roof over my head and enough food on the table, and there are kids who don’t have diapers,” Karim said. “It’s just such a difference.”

Karim was initially unsure about stepping into a leadership position, she said, but decided to apply when she found out about this role.

“When they came out with the position, I realized I could talk about social justice issues that really resonated with me,” Karim said.

Interesting ways of presenting information to students appeal to Karim, she said. Once, she shared a parody video of Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” that was created to raise awareness for environmental concerns in an Indian town.

“I thought, ‘That’s so cool,’” Karim said. “‘Not only do I get to tell people about this woman advocating for better conservation, but it’s also a really cool, fun way to get the message across.’”

Kavya Gandra serves as a freshman representative on the Indian Student Association executive board.

She said she’s become very close with Karim since meeting her at an Asian Culture Center event and admires her both personally and 
professionally.

“As I have gotten to know her better through ISA, I realized that she is a hilarious, trustworthy and supportive person,” Gandra said. “Amani’s passion for things she cares about is unparalleled.”

Karim originally joined the Indian Student Association last year to connect with students of the same ethnic background.

Since then, she said she’s learned about the planning required to pull off events smoothly.

“What I do feel like I’ve learned is the ability to collaborate with people to make events in a college setting that people will want to attend,” Karim said.

“That requires organization and collaboration. It requires a whole set of skills that I’ve really been able to put to use this past 
semester.”

As social justice executive, Karim said she finds out about relevant social justice issues from family and news sources, as well as social media.

She said other students looking to keep themselves informed on similar local or foreign issues can do the same.

“A way that I find out about a lot of things is Twitter,” Karim said.

“If you see something and it sparks your interest and it’s from a reputable source, then it’s good. You can find a lot of information if you know where to look.”

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