Samiha Islam

Samiha Islam is a rising junior at the University at Buffalo, where she studies human services and statistics. As a Diversity Advocate in the university's Intercultural and Diversity Center, she facilitates weekly dialogues on "Tough Topics" for the student body to address local and national social justice issues. Her journey as an activist began in 2018 in her hometown of Rochester, NY, where she organized the From Strangers to Neighbors Festival. The project highlights the values that refugees and immigrants bring to American society and counters ill-informed stereotypes related to the executive order travel ban. Her passion for antiracism has motivated her to host youth workshops and panels on the topics of race, power, and interfaith understanding for hundreds of students at the annual Global Citizenship Conference at Nazareth College and the Roc2Change Summit on Race. In the process, empowering her peers with the tools to engage in conversations on the topics of intersectionality and privilege. Samiha is a former intern at the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, has volunteered with Barakah Charity since 2013, and was featured in the Rochester Museum and Science Center's "Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World" exhibit. She currently serves as part of the Undergraduate Studies Committee in the UB School of Social Work. An outspoken advocate against Islamophobia and racial injustice, she strives to unite people across backgrounds and belief systems through dialogue, and is dedicated to forging a more equitable, tolerant world. After graduation, Samiha intends to obtain an advanced degree in public policy, social work, or public health. She also plans to run for local office to improve the material conditions of local marginalized groups.