Anti-discrimination series starts Saturday

“Know Islam Know Peace,” the first in a virtual Anti-Discrimination series, will be presented virtually from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12. Presented by the Muslim Student Association (MSA), the guest speaker is Imam Mohammed Herbert. Join this virtual discussion.

The series, sponsored by the TCC Southeast Democracy Commitment, CC4D and Civic Engagement Committees, originated as a class project. In response to an assignment to “choose a socio-political issue and do something to try to fix the problem,” Kristan Foust, Ph.D., an associate professor of history, said her students presented projects on Islamophobia, racism and LGBTQA+ discrimination. Foust said one project made her “realize that I have a personal responsibility to help educate our students and faculty about discrimination happening on our own campus and what we can do about it.”

While planning to address Islamophobia, the George Floyd Black Lives Matters protests began, she said, so several student organizations were contacted to provide insight into multiple areas of discrimination and build a dialogue at TCC.

“After talking to more people about the issue, the idea evolved from small student organization events to a District-wide virtual series,” Foust said. “We would like to increase the inclusive culture at TCC and create environments to have constructive dialogue on these issues and to build a climate that recognizes discrimination and racism as behavior that is often rooted in ignorance and fear.”

MSA president Wala Omer, whose organization frequently sponsors question and answer sessions to combat misconceptions about Islam, said she was grateful and excited to learn the series was being developed.

“When I first heard about this anti-discrimination project, I felt like we were finally being recognized and heard,” Omer said. “Many people don’t know the hurtful experiences and discrimination Muslims go through day in and day out. This education series is something very much needed in our community, not just for students but for faculty and staff as well.

“Now that the program has been expanded to a broader audience, I feel that it will make a greater impact and hopefully spread awareness,” she said.

Other sessions are: