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Roswell, Georgia

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Shahamat Uddin

Major(s): Political Economy and Middle Eastern Studies
Minor(s): International Development and Gender & Sexuality

Being a student at Tulane has taught me about the importance of diversity. In any pursuit of good for all, diversity is extraordinarily important. When we have a diverse group of people we can really achieve the "all" part in the pursuit of good for all. There is no way for one individual to ever fully understand the complete experience of another. But engaging with one another is a good place to start. Understanding struggles beyond your own community and your own lifestyle is most easily achieved by engaging with those outside of it. Diversity can be travelling the whole world without leaving the room. When diversity is achieved I believe no one person is the odd one out. Diversity means including a broad spectrum of identities—ranging from socioeconomic to racial to religious—within a community that aims to represent the larger world. Tulane has taught me that adversity builds character. I have learned how to navigate communities where I am the minority and how to make the representation of the background that I come from manifest in one individual for many people to see.

New Orleans and Tulane are two sides of a penny, one side never really looking like the other. New Orleans has shown me what diversity and inclusion can accomplish. People in New Orleans come together at the hardest of times, from all walks of life, and that is when the city can witness the most success. My very first week at Tulane, I was able to march in one of the early Take Em' Down NOLA protests, aimed at removing Confederate statues from New Orleans’ public spaces. The group that marched spawned colors of the entire racial spectrum and marched with a unity unparalleled by any other city I had seen. The diversity in New Orleans breeds individuals who are worldly and readily interact with those who are different than them to achieve a better good for all.