In the past three years at this university, I’ve learned a ton. Most of my learning has been done outside of the classroom, however, I have also learned by actively taking part in movements, issues and communities that challenge me to think about the world critically. As a result, I have learned to see myself not just as an individual, but as part of a larger system, part of various communities, part of a dynamic, chaotic and ever-changing world. I’ve learned through sit-ins, demonstrations and planning and attending events as a board member of the Arab Student Association. I’ve learned through MiC, through talking to my amazing fellow editors, through reading the stories of our eloquent contributors and columnists. While I have ventured in many directions and have often spread myself too thin, Michigan in Color has always been a constant for me, ever since my freshman sociology professor urged me to join and I nervously walked into 420 Maynard for an interview with Ashley and Jason.
Through this platform, I have been able to find my voice as an Arab, Muslim woman, but more importantly, I’ve been able to have a hand in catalyzing the empowerment of POC voices on campus and ensuring that these crucial stories are heard. I have met so many talented, passionate people who all have fiery opinions, powerful stories, unique truths. Nothing makes me happier than seeing students of color utilizing this platform to push their opinions and stories and truths out to the world, to express themselves authentically and to find community and friendship. My freshman year, I wrote in my “Why I Joined MiC” piece about the power and weight of words, and in the consequent years I have seen this power brought to life time and time again. I believe in this platform and its ability to bridge communities, foster understanding and empathy, encourage solidarity and build beautiful friendships. The support this community has shown me and others has been instrumental in my time here at Michigan. It’s grounded me and humbled me in many ways. To our new editors: I believe in you all, in your stories and your abilities to help others speak their truths. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish this year. I stayed in MiC for the same reason I joined: to keep learning, growing and connecting in a space that allows students of color to be their most authentic selves, and to never allow their voices to go unheard.