Growing together: A look at United We Coexist

By Ali DeRees

There is a new organization on campus this year with a leader, eager to work with others.

United We Coexist is focused on mutual religious acceptance and the education of different faiths.

The org’s president, Nusrat Zaman, is a fourth-year integrative studies major with a psychology minor.

 

Coming to America

Zaman is originally from Bangladesh and moved to Michigan 12 years ago with her family. She described the diversity found in Bangladesh and said she sees the same diversity here in Michigan.

“Michigan is filled with immigrants,” Zaman said.

Moving to another country and immersing herself into another culture as a child, came with some challenges.

“I felt excluded with the language barrier,” Zaman said.

Zaman was able to learn and in “adapt to American culture.”

 

College life

To Zaman, college is the perfect place for learning from other cultures. 

“No one is judging you,” Zaman said.

Zaman brings this knowledge and understanding of cultural immersion to her work as president of United We Coexist.

 

Starting again

The organization is a reboot of a previous organization called Students Advocating for Spirituality Center. Zaman explained the purpose for re-naming the organization.

“I didn’t want that to be the only goal. I wanted it to grow, to become something bigger,” she said.

The organization is currently looking for board members and regular member. 

“I’m building a great team here,” Zaman said. 

Zaman is currently looking for spirituality leaders from all religions to come and speak about their religion.

She is also planning to get three to four co-sponsorships per semester and wants to work with other religious organizations on campus, because of their similar goals.

“Get every organization to know we are here for each other,” Zaman said.

 

Respect

The organization’s most current projecet is A Commitment to Respect. It was started by the previous organization and, to Zaman, it is the organization’s mission statement.

 The project will have, according to the organizations page “500 signatures by the end of the semester.” Zaman believes it could lead to a larger reflection center.

Find more information on United We Coexist at their page at OU’s OrgSync.