Youth: Meet Fatima, a Student at the University of Washington Bothell

Interviewer: Vy Nguyen; June 12, 2020

Interviewee: Fatima Jamal

Fatima Johnson is a junior at UWB (Fatima Jamal).

Could you tell us more about who you are?

I’m currently a junior at UWB, majoring in Management & MIS, with a minor in Health Studies & IT. I work on campus as the A.C.T Student Chair. I plan, manage, and help create events focused on social justice and civic engagement for UWB students. I’m also working with the Washington Bus as a Fellow to advocate for voter registration, do large scale community organizing, and bring awareness to social justice issues.

How has this year been totally different from different years? How are you feeling about this year?

This year was very difficult due to COVID, but I have also been able to learn a lot through the process. Spring quarter was very difficult a lot happened, however, I’m proud of my community for standing up against racial injustice and police brutality. I’m glad more people are taking time to reflect, educate, and finding ways to help and support the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I’m glad more people are taking time to reflect, educate, and finding ways to help and support the Black Lives Matter movement."

Has COVID-19 changed your day to day life and has it changed your life in a larger way?

Yes, I had to work and take classes from home. Many professors were still adjusting to making classes online and some made the class way harder to make up for it. I learned how to be far more flexible and find new solutions to working online for work, such as creating virtual events for students.

How has learning and work changed? How are you staying connected to your classmates, friends, teachers, and coworkers who you do not get to see?

Everything was online in the past quarter. To stay connected we worked through zoom classes and work.

Have you picked up new skills during this whole situation? What have you been doing, other than work, to keep yourself entertained and happy?

Yes, I was able to learn to sew face masks to help Providence. I also was able to attend many virtual seminars led by leaders in the business field.

How do you feel about what is happening in the world right now, in connection to the black lives matter movement? Have you been active in that movement and in what way?

I’m hurt that our country hasn’t recovered from the deep-rooted racism perpetuated by our current institution. I’m hurt and saddened by the murderers of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony Mcdade, and so many more innocent lives lost to the hands of systemic racism and police brutality. I have been trying my best to take as much action as I could through educating myself more, signing petitions, donating, emailing representatives, and creating events to help educate others about the situation.

What changes have you made and do you want to see relating to this movement?

I want to see a new norm, more understanding, and changes in our system.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to anyone?

Educate yourself as much as possible, learn new skills, and don’t forget to focus on your mental health.

What is one thing you are looking forward to most, relating to anything that is going on right now?

Through everything being online, I had the chance to increase my network.

"Through everything being online, I had the chance to increase my network."

I was able to be a part of the Business school Mentorship Edge program, become Treasurer of MSA (Muslim Students Association), and Vice President of WIB (Women in Business). I’m excited to create more events and have a welcoming inclusive environment for students on campus