Human Rights Advocate and Immigration Lawyer to Speak on USD Campus

Photo of Taneeza Islam. Taneeza Islam speaks at a TRIO Upward Bound event hosted last spring at USD.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Taneeza Islam, an immigration lawyer, human rights advocate, and executive director of South Dakota Voices for Peace, will speak on the University of South Dakota campus tomorrow at noon at the Muenster University Center.

"Islamophobia and anti-immigrant, refugee bigotry has been rampant and largely unnoticed by South Dakotans until this past year,” said Islam. “South Dakota Voices for Peace is working to provide accurate information about Islam, Muslims, immigrants and refugees so that South Dakotans are empowered to understand and act."

The event will take place from noon - 1 p.m. in the Muenster University Center Pit Lounge. Sponsors of the presentation include South Dakota Voices for Peace, the USD International Office, the USD Office for Diversity, the USD Muslim Students’ Society, and the USD Center for Diversity & Community.

Malachi Petersen, a USD graduate student studying public administration and the primary organizer of the event, said the presentation is important for students to attend.

“In the current political climate, it’s vital for students and young professionals to be able to sort fact from fiction when it comes to hot button topics such as immigration,” he said. “As future leaders in politics, science, and business, it’s up to USD students to create an inclusive environment in our state and nation to promote economic growth and social equity for future generations."

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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