Religions Texas

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Now showing 1 - 20 of 110
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    Katy Murdza Interview
    (2023-06-06) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Katy Murdza, the Texas regional organizer for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, in Houston, TX. Katy describes her start in immigration activism during college, her work at a detention center through the Dilley Pro Bono Project, and her work with SA Stand Coalition and Houston Leads. She compares life in the places she has lived and also recalls her travels, including being in the Peace Corps in Panama. Katy describes the connections between the causes she organizes for and believes in, such as immigration reform, abolition, and transit.
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    Hadi Jawad Interview
    (2023-04-05) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Hadi Jawad, an activist in Dallas, TX. Hadi shares memories of growing up in Pakistan and coming to the US for college. He talks about his business and how he began activism work against US military involvement in Iraq. Hadi describes the impacts of post-9/11 Islamophobia on his community and his own interactions with the FBI.
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    Samira Abed Interview
    (2023-05-18) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Samira Abed, a Palestinian-American businesswoman living in Florida. Samira describes her youth in Brazil, her time in Palestine, and her immigration to the US after her marriage. She talks about raising her family in Texas and becoming a businesswoman. Samira shares about a car accident that left one of her sons permanently disabled and talks about how this affected her family. She also discusses her family’s experiences of Islamophobia after 9/11 and her relationship with Islam today.
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    Van Wagner Interview
    (2023-04-11) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Van Wagner, IDCL’s Community Archive Director, in Austin, TX. Van talks about growing up in a military family, moving around, and living in conservative Christian culture in Georgia. They describe their experiences in high school and college, including music, religious studies, and involvement in a student organization. Van discusses their relationship to Texas, especially as a queer person with a Jewish partner. They also describe their current life and musical involvement.
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    Elizabeth Melton Interview
    (2023-04-13) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Elizabeth Melton, the public engagement director at IDCL, from Crumpler, NC. Elizabeth describes her childhood in Longview, TX, where she was surrounded by her extended family with deep ties to public education and the Presbyterian Church (USA). She shares how her childhood involvement in theater eventually led to her PhD in performance studies. Elizabeth talks about her experience of the Texas Freeze of 2021. She also discusses her complicated relationship to Texas as both a beloved home and site of political strife.
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    Sarah Aburumuh Interview
    (2023-03-14) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Sarah Aburumuh, a high school teacher in San Antonio, TX. Sarah describes growing up in her large Muslim family, memories of 9/11, and her decision to put on the hijab in middle school. She talks about her experiences as a teacher, especially with regards to race, religion, and teaching diversity. Sarah shares about being seen as a representative of Islam because of her hijab and talks about her approaches to prejudice. She also talks about her inspirations and influences.
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    Ahmad Kaki Interview
    (2022-12-21) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Ahmad Kaki, a legal assistant and law student in Arlington, VA. Ahmad describes growing up Palestinian and Muslim in Texas and how his life changed after 9/11. He talks about his college experiences of involvement in the Muslim Students Association and pro-Palestine organizing. Ahmad shares the trajectory of his career, which brought him to law school and his current work as a legal assistant with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
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    Tinny Widjaja Interview
    (2021-02-06) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Tinny Widjaja, a Chinese-Indonesian immigrant and political and interfaith activist living in Austin, TX. Tinny talks about growing up Chinese in Indonesia, and the discrimination she and her family faced there, as well as her decision to leave the country. She describes working abroad, meeting her African-American husband in Singapore, and moving to the US after having a son. Tinny shares how she went from politically ambivalent to politically active in the wake of the George Floyd protests, in hopes of making a safer world for her son.
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    Walter Celestine Interview
    (2020-10-29) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Walter Celestine, Program Director of the Native American Employment Training Program at the American Indian Center of Houston, who is from the Alabama-Coushatta reservation in Livingston, Texas. Walter discusses the history of the reservation, their traditional practices, and finally, integrating with society off of the reservation. The First Indian Baptist church was created by Walter’s family and the reservation has changed significantly. He speaks to the importance of dispelling stereotypes of Native American culture and taking care of Mother Earth. He also speaks to the challenges the Alabama-Coushatta community have faced through the COVID-19 pandemic.
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    Meenal McNary Interview
    (2021-04-28) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Dr. Meenal McNary, a first-generation Indian-American dentist and local activist in Round Rock, TX. Meenal discusses the contrast between the goal of assimilation when she was growing up and the goal of instilling in her children senses of pride in and connection to Indian culture today. She talks about her racial equity work with the local government and Round Rock ISD, in which she advocates for the safety and dignity of Black and Brown children. Meenal also talks about her time serving as a dentist in the US army and the importance of building trusting relationships with her patients.
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    Rais Bhuiyan Interview
    (2022-12-12) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Rais Bhuiyan, the founder of World Without Hate, who currently lives in Seattle, WA. Rais describes his youth in Bangladesh and his first career in the Bangladeshi military before coming to the US for school. He describes his experience of 9/11, after which he was the victim of Islamophobic gun violence, and then experienced food insecurity and medical debt due to his lack of medical insurance. He shares about his decision to try to save his attacker from death row with the help of Amnesty International and fellow humanitarians. Rais also talks about World Without Hate and its current projects. Content Warning: The following interview contains sensitive material. Please note that the interview includes description of graphic violence and hate crimes. These subjects will be discussed at 21:17 - 26:27 (in the transcript p. 5).
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    Natividad Quinto Interview
    (2022-09-25) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Natividad Quinto, a retired nurse and Filipina immigrant living in San Antonio, TX. Natividad talks about her happy memories of the Philippines and her decision to move to the US as an adult. She describes her career in nursing at various hospitals across the country. Natividad also shares about her involvement with the Filipino and Catholic communities in San Antonio.
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    Venancio Quinto Interview
    (2022-09-05) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Venancio Quinto, a Filipino immigrant living in San Antonio, TX. Venancio describes his childhood in the Philippines, his immigration, and early experiences in the States. He talks about living in DC, California, and Texas, and the jobs and relationships he had in each. He describes fatherhood and his relationship with his daughter. Venancio also shares his perspectives on immigration and offers advice to future immigrants to the US.
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    Van Govind
    (2022-08-12) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Van Govind, a pharmacy school student in Houston, Texas who was born in the Texas Valley and later moved to San Antonio, TX with their family following the 2008 recession. They describe the events and institutions that shaped their perception of community and self. They explain how their family navigated culture and community growing up since neither of Van’s parents were born in India. Van discusses their connection to Hinduism and how developing an academic understanding of modern day India helped them navigate their queer identity.
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    Suleiman "Sal" Masoud Interview
    (2022-09-28) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Suleiman Masoud, an engineer and Palestinian immigrant living in El Paso, TX. Suleiman describes growing up in Palestine and Kuwait with details about his early education and village life. He talks about his decision to come to the States for college and his experience of embracing American culture. He shares details about his family growing up and compares his life as a child to what his children have been able to experience. Suleiman also talks about the power of names when it comes to assimilation and othering.
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    Aisha Fall Interview
    (2022-10-10) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Aisha Fall, a Senegalese-American Muslim in Chicago, IL. Aisha shares memories from her childhood, including friendships, schooling, and travels to Senegal and France. She describes her time at UTSA and her involvement with the MSA there. While there, she attended the Muslim Children Education and Civic Center where she became a leader on the Youth Committee. She talks about her experience there and the influential people she worked with.
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    Amro Eltayeb Interview
    (2022-10-01) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Amro Eltayeb, an engineer in San Antonio, Texas. Amro talks about childhood memories like his father’s business and the ways his family supported his education. He tells the story of his education in mechanical and software engineering and his early work experiences developing off-road wheelchairs. He also describes his current project of designing a note-taking app. Amro also shares about the moral decisions he has had to make in his career and how Islam has influenced his sense of ethics.
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    Chanda Parbhoo Interview
    (2022-10-17) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Chanda Parbhoo, an Indian-American organizer and immigrant from South Africa who lives in Dallas, TX. Chanda compares her early experiences of ethnic integration in Canada with her experiences of apartheid in South Africa. She also shares the challenges and prejudice her family experienced in Canada and the States. She describes the influence of her father’s business ventures and values on her childhood and career. Chanda talks about her activism for representation in her school district and for AAPI voting empowerment.
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    Lily Trieu Interview
    (2022-10-13) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Lily Trieu, a first-generation Chinese-American and non-profit director in Austin, TX. Lily shares her parents’ stories of coming to the US, living as a low-income family, and struggling with assimilation. She talks about her busy youth and her education. Lily describes her path from working in corporate marketing to working in policy advocacy and founding Asian Texans for Justice. She also shares her perspectives on anti-Asian racism and the needs of communities like hers.
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    Daniele Volfe Interview
    (2022-09-22) Institute for Diversity & Civic Life; Department of Religious Studies
    This interview is with Daniele Volfe, a Brazilian immigrant and immigration attorney in McKinney, Texas. Daniele describes coming to the US with her husband, a pastor, and her family’s process of getting settled in Texas. She talks about her education and her decision to become an immigration attorney. She shares her relationship with her Brazilian culture and compares it with her daughters’ experiences of their heritage.