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The Mosaic Center seeks to promote outreach within all the different communities of people at UMBC. Photo by Manuel Carranza.

Asian American social promotes student outreach

This past Friday, the Mosaic Center brought food, music and fun to the Commons game room for a Stir Fry Social.  The social is part of the center’s Asian American and Pacific Islander outreach program, and was organized by Laura Huang, a junior sociology major and the Mosaic Center’s intern for Asian American and Pacific Islander student community outreach.

Huang first got involved with the Mosaic Center in the spring 2017 semester, when she applied for the intern position after hearing about it from a friend.  She says the position sounded interesting.  “I thought that it would be cool to work in a center that specifically helps and provides resources for a diverse population,” said Huang.

Her main focus for the center is to organize outreach to the different student and cultural organizations on campus, provide them with resources and create events and programs with the intent to inform and make everyone feel included.  The stir fry took place on Friday Oct. 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and attracted students from all over campus.  And while the promise of free food was a big draw for some, lots of other students came for the experience.

Dana Kobrin, a senior psychology major, president of UMBC Hillel and a self-professed “frequent flier” of Mosaic Center events, liked the inclusive catering and the welcoming atmosphere.  “It’s nice having something on the weekend with lots of people, and they had vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free options, which is great,” she enthused. The inviting and open nature of the event is in keeping with the Mosaic Center’s goals.

Junior media and communications studies major Najala Nadeem enjoyed the relaxed environment of the event, and De’Andrea Harmon, a sophomore in animation, appreciates that the events are open to all students.

“We need to come together and realize what matters, like tolerance and respect,” Kobrin notes, citing why she thinks the Mosaic Center matters on campus and in our current world.  “Cultural diversity and new experiences with other people strengthens you as a person,” she adds.

Huang wants for events like Friday’s stir fry to increase community engagement and students’ awareness of what the Mosaic Center has to offer to the campus community.  While UMBC has a diverse student body, Huang knows that “diverse doesn’t always mean inclusive.”

She is hoping her work will help promote inclusivity on campus.  “My goal is to let as many people as possible know about the Mosaic Center and our services, so they know what we provide and the different events and workshops we have to offer.”  For more information on the Mosaic Center, check out their website and myUMBC for upcoming events and ways to get involved.