The 18th Annual URI Diversity Awards Ceremony took place on April 19, 2016 in the Student Center Ballroom. It honored those individuals who have demonstrated commitment to community leadership, academic excellence and service in promoting diversity and multiculturalism.
Congratulations to three Kingian nonviolence training affiliates who received awards: Mike Bonilla, Qutaiba Al Harfi Albluwi, and Maryam Attarpour.
Mike Bonilla, received an Undergraduate Student Excellence Leadership & Service Award for his commitment and dedication to justice, equality, and the principles of a diverse, nonviolent community or campus and beyond. Through his leadership, he helped to re-invigorate the Student Nonviolence Involvement Coalition (SNIC) which is closely aligned with the mission of the URI Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies. A certified Kingian nonviolence trainer, he has shared his knowledge with fellow students, and has served as a co-trainer and mentor teaching nonviolent to teens in the RI Juvenile Probation Transition Program.
Qutaiba Al Harfi Albluwi received a Graduate Student Excellence Leadership & Service Award for his strong outreach and leadership in defusing intergroup tension and building bridges of collaboration between religious faiths within and beyond URI. He has worked to make the Muslim Community Center of Kingston an open and safe place for Muslims and members of other faith communities. He has delivered many workshops and seminars to various organizations at URI and throughout New England related to racism and Islamophobia, and he developed a series of lectures at URI focused on “Principles of Nonviolence in the Islamic Traditions.” All of these programs have engendered greater understanding about and between different cultures and religions. As a doctoral student in computer science with an extensive background of professional achievement, Qutaiba has also used nonviolence as a reference point for online discussions against hate, racism, video game violence, and human trafficking.
Maryam Attarpour received an Undergraduate Student Excellence Academic & Service Award for her leadership and commitment to URI’s Persian Cultural Society, strengthening the platform for Iranian students and others interested in Iranian culture and heritage. While navigating the challenges of being Iranian-American in the US, she has taken strides to increase awareness and understanding of the Persian culture through cultural events. She has worked with Professor Donna Hughes to document civil disobedience and other acts of resistance by Iranian women. Their paper, “”Women’s Civil Disobedience in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” was presented at the Northeast Undergraduate Research and Development Symposium in 2015.