Open space created for students to discuss what it means to be Black and Religious

By Michael Cutler

The Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy hosted a discussion panel on Friday that surrounded the topic of being black and religious.

The event hosted students from all different forms of religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Muslim, and Buddhism. Two members of the organization, Di-Tu Dissassa and Amara Kamal, pushed the narrative of the conversation through questions such as “if you are part of multiple minority groups, do you feel like the type of discrimination seems to stack up?” 

Dissassa has been working with the organization for five months with the main goal for 

this talk to discuss “the spectrum of black identity in religion.” Students such as Tochi Korie (Senior) and Shahd Ibrahim (Junior) discussed the importance for organizations on campus to make their students feel welcomed. The majority of the students at the discussion felt alienated from some of the organizations due to their race and religion.

“It starts from you,” Korie said when talking about how students can choose their own faith not based on their family or religious leaders. Some students find campus as one of their first times being away from their comfortable settings and are introduced to new cultures. This opens up an opportunity for them to look deep into themselves and to decide how they want to handle their religion moving forward. Shahd Ibrahim (Junior) said that college is the time to find your religion on your own, away from your family. 

Videos were played during the session that followed two African Americans who were Jewish and Muslim as they discussed their struggles and views on their situation. Jeyda Muhammad (Sophomore) believed that instead of ignoring people and letting them stay ignorant, people should try to spread the knowledge. 

Articles were handed out at the discussion that gave more details on religion and race. 

One article from Facttank written by David Masci contained statistics that showed that African Americans are more religious than Whites and Latinos and are mostly Christian. 

Korie recommended that instead of forcing one’s religion on others, one should take a step back and listen. “I take it as a challenge,” Korie said when facing alienation.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Michael Cutler.

Michael Cutler is a journalism major and can be reached at 

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