Posts in Social Justice
Sara Al-Zubi on Refugees, Faith, and ‘Unfiltered Me’

When Sara Al-Zubi saw what was happening to women and children in Syria and around the world, like so many of us, she was astonished and appalled. She couldn’t sit idly by, so – at just 20 years old – Sara crashed full-on into the world of refugee activism. From Truman Scholar to youth ambassador to founder of multiple nonprofits, her accomplishments are impressive, but Sara’s just getting started.

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Aprina Johnson: Transformation, Highways, and Musical Activism

I met Aprina Johnson outside of a warehouse. “You ready?” she asked. I said yes, although I wasn’t sure. I put my Subaru into drive and followed her sedan through a quick series of back alleys. We parked in a secluded area near an abandoned truck yard, and out of Aprina’s car tumbled four children plus herself. We scuttled across a road and past patches of overgrown weeds and large cement blocks, eventually making it to a highway overpass.

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‘I am Tyra Patterson.’

When we sat down with Tyra, she projected nothing but rays of positivity and beams of happiness. Outside, torrential rain and wind pounded the city, but it didn’t seem to faze her. I didn’t consider it at the time, but it occurs to me now that it’s synonymous with how she spent her sentence: gloomy circumstances, but an optimistic spirit.

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Know Your Neighbor: Samira Jaweed

We drove out to the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati (I.C.G.C.) to meet with Samira Jaweed, operations manager for Rahma Community Services. We had never visited the I.C.G.C. before. Our excitement grew as the beautiful gold domes appeared in the distance. Despite being just on time for our appointment, after we parked, we paused to admire the beautiful architecture and the gold domes against the blue sky. We would later tour the I.C.G.C. with Samira and encounter many kind people and beautiful spaces, including the mosque. First, we sat with Samira in her office and talked about her journey, her experiences as an immigrant, the I.C.G.C., Pakistan, and the local Muslim community. Her kind smile, warm personality, and fascinating conversation made us happy to have her as a neighbor.

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Meet the Women of Cincy Team: Heather Willins

It was a rainy Thursday afternoon when I walked into The Overlook Lodge. I was so nervous, but as soon as I got there, I was greeted with a warm smile and a hug from Heather Willins. Heather is a team member on Women of Cincy who basically does it all. She is a Ravenclaw, wants to be in “Gilmore Girls,” and is also a fierce advocate for many issues of social justice.

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We Are Here: Women of Cincy on the Story of Home

At Women of Cincy, we believe that if you can change minds, you change behaviors, and if you change behaviors, you can change systems. The people in this series are strong, innovative, inquisitive humans. They are worthy of love, respect, and the basic human right of safe, affordable housing. They are mothers, fathers, friends, spouses, and hard workers. These are the stories of those experiencing and fighting housing insecurity here in Cincinnati.

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