AASA Awareness Week Works to Unite Marginalized Groups


By Mckenzie Alder

The Asian-American Student Association (AASA) at the University of Utah will be holding an Awareness Week April 3 through 6. The theme is “Collective Liberation” — fliers around campus and online advertising the week broadcast the statement, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

Samah Safiullah, the organizer of the week, believes that AASA’s events can unite the various groups of people that are subjected to systemic oppression.

“It’s important for us to understand how our oppressions and our marginalizations are interconnected and how we can all come together to build a community with each other and try to create our own safe spaces on campus,” said Safiullah.

The week kicks off Monday at 1 p.m. with a panel discussing Japanese internment camps and Muslim registries to be held at the Union, room 312. The panel, comprised of four Japanese and Muslim faculty and staff from the U, will talk about preventing the repetition of history, as well as Utah’s past of persecution against Japanese and Muslim people.

On Tuesday, AASA will host a conversation about Asian-American forms of feminism at 2 p.m. in the Union, Room 311. Panelists will address their experiences with feminism: how they define it, how they use it on a day-to-day basis and the limitations on feminism for Asian-Americans and other people of color.

Racial Justice and Community Organizing will take place on Wednesday from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Union Parlor A. Local racial justice groups will share what they to do make a change in Salt Lake City. There will also be a conversation about how POC and members of the LGBTQ+ community can stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement.

To wrap up the week, AASA will hold two events on Thursday — a Collective Liberation Art Show from 12 to 3:30 p.m. in the Union Parlor A, where POC can showcase and sell their art, as well as a production titled “Me, My Mom and Sharmila: Fawzia Mirza’s One Woman Show.” It’s about the life of the actress growing up as a queer Pakistani woman. The show is from 6 to 8 p.m. and the location has yet to be announced, but will be posted prior to the event on the AASA Facebook page.

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