Sasha and Shurooq, Instagram Live Interview
Sasha Sloan and Shurooq Safaa Al Jewari are working together to launch education workshops. The workshops are intended as school-based presentations and focus on friendship, inclusivity, and mental health.
Darien Laird, our Director of External Media, caught up with these two and asked them a few questions about their workshop and platform.
Sasha, I want to start with you. When did you realize that supporting refugees and newcomers was going to be your platform and why is that so important to make an impact there?
Well, for the first several years that I was in the Miss America organization, my platform was girls' empowerment. And so that was the project that I was working on and doing a lot with, you know, girls empowerment here in Utah. And I think the deeper that I got into it, the more that I felt like the intersection between women's rights and then issues of immigration, I felt like that was a much more important place to focus. Because I feel like it's one thing to receive discrimination when you're a woman. I've definitely felt sexism in my life. I've experienced that. But I think that that pales in comparison to the compounded effect of the challenges faced by women when they are forced to migrate. So it kind of just narrowed in over the years.
Shurooq, you have had this very big life experience as a refugee and coming to a new place and establishing yourself and integrating into a community. Why, for you,is this so important? Why did you decide, I'm going to do this, I'm going to take on this big responsibility?
I just don't want any newcomer to have the same experience that I had, being discriminated against or facing racism or being excluded and bullied in school, and then having to go through all the mental health issues that I have been through. It's not right, just for us to live in a different country. We don't have to face any of those consequences. We don't have to pay for them. Just because we wanted to start a new life. So it's not right. It's our human right to live in a new country with a peaceful life and feel included in a community. I never felt that way at all. And I don't want any newcomers to have the same experience I had.
Watch the entire live interview below:
A teacher in an inner city school describes how her school helps with the integration of students from all over the world.
Associate Director, Liz Jevtic-Somlai, was interviewed by Julie Rose on Top of Mind Podcast.
In these “Back to School” days, it is important to note that education is a vital step in self-actuation. Helping schools recognize best practices in supporting ESL is the basis of building communities full of strong and capable citizens with skills that will provide societal dividends.