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April is SWANA Heritage Month

The office of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA) of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union is excited to announce the University of Maryland's first ever campus-wide celebration of Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) Heritage Month in April 2024!

Call for Programs. We are now soliciting program submissions to be featured on the official Southwest Asian and North African Heritage Month poster calendar! We welcome all events and programs, but highly encourage ones related to our theme. Please submit your program to this form no later than March 13 to be featured on the SWANAHM 2024 calendar.

The annual SWANAHM theme is determined by a committee of students, staff and faculty. The 2024 SWANAHM Committee has been working hard to bring you this announcement, and are pleased to share the 2024 inaugural SWANA Heritage Month theme of...

"See Us, Seeing Us"

This first ever SWANA Heritage Month theme is twofold, asking the community to stretch, connect, feel discomfort, and see how two things can be true at once.

First, "See Us" is a demand to be seen and to matter, highlighting the ways SWANA identities have been made invisible. From census boxes to movie theaters, history books to holidays - the presence, impact, and needs of the SWANA community are often subsumed or glossed over. Why is our first heritage month in 2024?

Second, "Seeing Us" reveals the hypervisibility of SWANA suffering and villainization. In particular, for those of the SWANA diaspora who grow up watching their communities here and abroad be subjected to violence and dehumanization. To truly see us, one must see this also. Acknowledgement and visibility are needed, yes, and so are compassion and care.

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If you have any questions regarding SWANA Heritage Month or how your organization can be involved, please contact me at hzewdie@umd.edu. We are looking forward to a wonderful month of programming and engagement with the community!

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