Discussing Racism at with Conversation Hour with SASA
Written by Maritza Navar-Lopez on April 8, 2021
Photo courtesy South Asian Student Alliance Facebook Page.
NORMAL, Ill. – Illinois State University’s South Asian Student Alliance is looking to spark conversations through their Conversation Hour.
Wednesday nigth the SASA hosted a virtual discussion focusing on racism and how it affects the South Asian community. The founder of the organization, Anushree Rayarikar explains how a member inspired the event.
“She took the initiative and wanted to start some conversations within the South Asian community. To really talk about how racism and internalized racism affects the community, but how it also upholds racist biases against other minority groups,” said Rayarikar.
She explains why the alliance chose to discuss internalized racism.
“We wanted to talk about how it affects us. But also, how our community perpetuates it and what we can do to unlearn all of those negative things,” said Rayarikar.
The South Asian Student Alliance was founded by Rayarikar and a friend a few years ago. She says this group aims to represent different South Asian cultures. They include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and many other cultures.
“We noticed that there was a prominent South Asian community on campus. But there was not really an RSO that fit our needs. So, we decided to start it ourselves,” said Rayarikar.
As an alliance, she explains members range from a variety of ethnicities to learn about South Asian culture together. Ultimately, they aim to promote diversity.