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Get to Know the BIPOC Affinity Group

This group is a way to bring BIPOC Honors, CBRS, and FDDS students together to create an empowering and supportive environment to assist one another in transitioning to and navigating college. The group seeks to engage students of all backgrounds and identities by encouraging dialogue and community building that is mindful of the diverse social, cultural, and academic needs of AU students. To do so, the BIPOC Affinity Group provides peer-to-peer support and mentoring, connects students with opportunities to explore their identities and cultures around D.C., engage with community service projects, participates in workshops focused on navigating a PWI as students of color, and collaborate with cultural- and identity-based organizations on campus. Consistent with the university’s prohibition on discrimination, any student who is part of AU Honors, Community-Based Research Scholars, or Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Programs may participate in the BIPOC Affinity Group, as it is open to all such students regardless of their race, color, or national origin.

Zophia Kotala

Communications Director

Zophia (she/her) is a sophomore from Denver, CO. She is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Legal Studies. She hopes to pursue a career in research, investigating how law and psychology intersect and affect marginalized groups. 

Fav BIPOC Story

"I love Across the Spider-Verse. The discussions of family, belonging, and identity are relatable and impactful. Miles has a powerful arc that I deeply connect to. The movie is also visually stunning with an amazing soundtrack. Plus, it gives me indescribable joy to see Spider-Man speaking Spanish. One of my favorite movies of all time!"

Savannah-Rae Snyder

Community Service Director

"Hi y'all, I'm Sav, or Rae, or how you prefer to remix my double first name. I'm an Atlanta native, the middle sister of three girls, and a lover of history and theology. My album of the summer was Rylo Rodriguez's "Been One", and I recommend the upper level of Katzin for a great study spot. I'm an SIS major hoping to pursue national security and defense negotiation, and love making new friends or helping out strangers. Remember to love your neighbor!"

Fav BIPOC Story

"Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston is an African American classical piece about the pursuit of identity and self-determination for a black woman put on a pedestal for her hue instead of her soul. I love how she defines herself outside of the male gaze and denies what has been afforded to her for the sake of buying her love."


Diya Jaisankar

Engagement Director

Diya (she/her) is a sophomore majoring in SIS with a minor in Business Administration. Originally from Hillsborough, NJ, Diya intends to pursue a career in law and public policy centered around advocating for marginalized communities. 

Fav BIPOC Story

"Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata is one of the most impactful novels I have ever read. It highlights the hardships of immigrant families and the importance of keeping the people you love close to you."

Aseel Osman

Programming Director

Aseel is a sophomore from the DMV area. She is currently majoring in International Relations with a focus in the Middle East and a minor in International Business. In the future, Aseel hopes to go to law school and study immigration reform and policy.

Fav BIPOC Story

"'Barry Farm: Community, Land, and Justice' is a documentary I watched in our Displaced Lives in the DMV course. It was a beautiful film about the city's residents trying to preserve their neighborhood and its rich history from DC's growing gentrification process."

Rose Yeganeh-Kazemi

Outreach Coordinator

Roseanna (Rose) Yeganeh-Kazemi (she/her/hers) is a junior from the Kansas City suburbs. She's majoring in political science at SPA. She hopes to become an employment discrimination lawyer and/or work for the ACLU of Kansas.

Fav BIPOC Story

"My favorite BIPOC story is a book collection called Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri which is a collection of 9 short stories about the lives of Indian Americans."