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We want to congratulate these young people who have joined UNLV’s student government this semester as they embark on their journeys to create a more inclusive campus. 

Young People, when informed and empowered, 

when they realize that what they do truly make 

a difference, can indeed change the world.” 

-Jane Goodall

 

Many young people are inclined to think they do not have a voice. There’s a saying that those who don’t have a voice are spoken for by someone else, mostly someone who has power. 

 

“Every single person, every individual HAS a voice, but they aren’t being heard or listened to,” says Maryam Raja, a first-generation American and Hijabi Muslim who was elected Senator for UNLV’s student government this fall semester.

 

She believes, and she knows how vital a diverse community is and how neglected their opinions and ideas are. She hopes to change the narrative that there are people without voices, all of us have voices, and we have the will and power to make a change, no matter the background one may come from. By being part of the student body, she feels she can reflect the change for all students. Instead of using her position to expand her resume for herself, her reasons to be active in the student body are to solve issues with student leaders and be a representative of the diverse student body. Maryam knows people can take a step forward in their community to make the changes they want to see. Some of the changes Maryam has considered taking the initiative on are menstrual inequity, helping those with trouble obtaining feminine hygiene products. She also plans to implement a transportation waiver system that will allow students to commute to and from campus, relieving them from financial issues. Another plan is to create a support system for students affected by the pandemic through a workshop.

 

Another young student, Abraham Lugo, Vice President of UNLV’s student government, a DACA recipient, who is bisexual, has stated he will never forget where he came from and has accomplished having undocumented students be seen. 

“No matter what I do, or position I am in, or who I’m advocating for, it makes it impossible for me as a representative, as a person, to forget who I am.”

In this generation of labels, Abraham thanks his parents, for giving him the morals he has today. For him, it has been a struggle with all of the barriers that being an immigrant but he has never considered as a block in his path. Abraham took notice of how there were no scholarships for undocumented students. So he took the initiative to write legislation, and now there are scholarships for undocumented individuals at UNLV. 

 

Both of these fantastic young people of color will continue to remember their roots and use their identities as tools to bring the community together. Their voices and the need to make changes for the student body will lead them to do far greater things for the future.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


LAS VEGAS
—  Women in Las Vegas often find themselves struggling to find a space to learn about important topics and where they are allowed to express themselves freely. This Saturday, Make the Road Nevada together with partners in the city of Las Vegas hosted, Metamorphosis of the Woman Conference, more than 100 women attended the event where they engaged in dialogue about reproductive justice, healing modalities, and activism as a tool for liberation during our conference.

In the Latino society some of these topics are considered tabu and therefore never talked about at home or in any social setting.

 “I got here a little depressed because of personal reasons but the first workshop made me feel much better and really helped me, the workshop talked about techniques on how to get rid of the negative thoughts and gave us great techniques…A lot of times we have problems that we keep inside because we have no place to go and these events really help,” Ofelia Esquivel attended the event

This yearly conference hopes to continue empowering women to be their best selves. We thank this year’s sponsors: Nevada Department of Health and Human Services , Division of Public & Behavioral Health, Health Plan of Nevada, UNLV Immigration  Law Clinic, Chispa, Happy Smiles, Human Rights Campaign, Immunize Nevada, Nevada Minority Health & Equity Coalition, Dignity Health, Nice & Bella, PLAN, Undocunetwork, Vision y Compromiso, Consumer Assistance & Resource Enterprise, Mujeres de Excelencia, Nevada Conservation League, Planned Parenthood, HIV, Promotoras & Public Affairs.

We are now starting to plan next year’s event and hope with the help of our community members, businesses and organizations we can keep growing and include more women. 

DOWNLOAD THE PRESS RELEASE HERE

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