The #AISSCampusPartner initiative highlights the work of campus-wide colleagues and the numerous ways they collaboratively engage and assist American Indian Student Services.
#AISSCampusPartner Dr. Assata Zerai, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion & Professor of Sociology, has only been a part of the #UNMCommunity for just shy of 2 years but has adapted quickly to #LoboLife. Originally from Indianapolis, IN, Dr. Zerai found her scholar-activist passion during her undergraduate years at Anderson College where words like “racism”, “structural analysis” and “feminism” awakened her to all kinds of academic possibilities. Since then, she’s devoted her life to not only pursuing justice for those who are forgotten, but also to teach the next generation to use intellectual tools to pursue their goals. While completing both her Master’s & Ph.D. degrees at the University of Chicago, Dr. Zerai became an activist organizing for pan-African unity on campus and in local & global communities. She brings the same energy into her #UNM work as a contemporary scholar & academic administrator. Currently, Dr. Zerai and her DEI Team have been working hard to enrich diverse & inclusive climates across campus by educating colleagues and enhancing student academic success & sense of belongingness through the Racial and Intersectional Macroaggressions (RIMA) Survey – students can still provide input at https://campusclimate.unm.edu/initiatives/rimasurvey.html. Fun Facts: she’s a huge fan of house music, sings contemporary gospel, is enjoys time gardening. UNMRoleModels #BlackAtUNM