Thursday, May 24, 2018

URSP Student Anaam Avant Looks at How the Unite the Right Rally that Took Place in Charlottesville Effected Black Students at GMU

My name is Inaam Avant, I am a graduating senior from the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR). My project looks at how the Unite the Right Rally that took place in Charlottesville last year effected Black students here at George Mason. Additionally, it will try to understand how these students rate GMU’s administrative response to the events that took place. The idea for the study came to me after trying to reconcile my own feelings about the event, and trying to process what it meant to me. This question was one I wanted feedback on so I decided to ask the people around me and see what would come of it. With the help of my mentor, Dr. Thomas Flores, an established academic in the S-CAR field, I am excited to be on this journey.  Due to its origins and my concentration in Building Peace in Divided societies, this project is close to my heart and aligns with my interests. After graduation I plan on continuing to ask questions with the intention of serving populations whose challenges are commonly ignored.

My daily schedule varies depending on what stage of the study I am in. Currently I am collecting data in the form of semi-structured interviews, which means that although I have prepared questions I will ask, there is room for the participant to talk about what is especially important to them. I am trying to complete as many as 30 interviews in the month of April so I will be spending a lot of time sitting and learning from my participants. Once concluded, I will analyze my data using a coding scheme that seeks to identify common themes in my results. From here I will hopefully be ready to share what I learned with my peers and maybe influence future policy the school develops towards increasing inclusion and student well being.