Yassmin Fashir

Fresh determination

Yassmin refused to let these obstacles stand in her way. In fact, a trip to the ZamZam refugee camp in Sudan where her extended family still lived made her realize how lucky she is—and how many opportunities are available to her.

I learned early on that we are all connected and I can’t be happy unless you are. I’m dedicated to making sure all people are treated like people. Forget the American dream, this is my dream.

Upon her return, she became the only black student in the International Baccalaureate diploma program at North Central High School in Indianapolis.

She sometimes felt frustrated when she realized how often she saw things from a different perspective than her peers did, but she was determined not to let that stop her.

“I recognized that what I had to say was valid, even if I was the only one who believed it. Learning that changed my life.”

A new journey

In 2015, Yassmin arrived in Bloomington for her freshman year at IU. She found the transition difficult, yet rewarding.

“I started wearing the hijab after I got to IU. I was struggling to understand how I am perceived as a Muslim woman of color, and it helped me to feel seen.”

She found a home with students in the CommUNITY Education Program, which fosters a welcoming and supportive community for all who live in, work in, or visit IU’s residence halls.

As a Community Educator (CUE), she focuses on raising awareness of and facilitating conversations around diversity and social justice issues. She regularly hosts programs in the residence halls that give the IU community a safe place to talk about them.

There’s a way you think you should feel about these topics, and a way you actually feel. These programs give people space to talk about what they actually feel. It’s the most fulfilling aspect of being a CUE for me.  

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