Take Five: Zainab Koli
By Jonathan Vatner, Photograph by Smiljana Peros
Standing up for Muslims on campus
“I’m a Muslim, and social justice is a big part of the religion. It’s about going out of your way to stand up for people who are oppressed, even outside your community.”
Major: Fashion Business Management Organizations founded: NY MSA (Muslim Students Association) Showdown, a statewide undergraduate competition in 13 subjects, from social justice to stand-up comedy; FIT’s Muslim Student Union Favorite class: Writing as Activism, taught by Melissa Tombro, professor of English and Communication Studies. In it, students can stage a protest as a class project. After the mosque shooting in New Zealand in March, a vigil at City College in New York helped Koli process her complicated emotions, and she wished a similar observance could take place at FIT. She organized a vigil that drew 150 members of the FIT community. Her final project for the class collected emails, photographs, and text threads about the shooting and the vigil into a moving multimedia essay.