September 29, 2022

Medical student-led multicultural fundraiser Oct. 10 to celebrate diversity through fashion, dance and music

Chinese folk dancer Thomas Davis is among the performers.

Music, dance, fashion, food and fun are all on the agenda for a student-led fundraiser at Wayne State University that will raise money for 482Forward, a local organization advocating for education justice for the diverse youth of Detroit.

The WSU School of Medicine’s World Health Student Organization will host its first Multicultural Fundraiser at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Student Center Ballroom. The event will showcase several cultures through a fashion show, live performances and more.

WHSO Treasurer and Co-Fundraising Chair Mariam Samir, a first-year medical student, hopes to make it annual event.

“We are hoping to raise awareness of the problems many Detroit youth face, a part of which stems from a lack of understanding and appreciation of the different cultures present. People fear what they do not know,” Samir said. “By providing a platform for people to represent their culture, we are hoping to improve cultural appreciation and increase curiosity and open-mindedness. Furthermore, we are aiming to raise money to assist 482Forward in its goals of campaigning for education justice.”

Samir recruited additional student organizations from the School of Medicine to collaborate in the event. They include the Black Medical Association, Latino Medical Student Association, Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, Islamic Medical Student Association, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Jewish Medical Student Association and the National Arab American Medical Association.

“When we began looking for a charity, we wanted to choose something that people of various cultures can relate to, so we focused our attention locally,” Samira said. “Detroit is known for its vast diversity, and the residents of Detroit face many systemic issues. 482Forward uses its campaigns to make change at that level. One of their campaigns, for example, was changing legislation to put more funds toward mental health in schools. Besides mental health, they also focus on trauma, social determinants of health and adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care, immigration justice in schools and language in schools.”

The event is open to all and will include remarks from School of Medicine Dean Wael Sakr, M.D., a 50-50 raffle, raffles for henna tattoos by local artists, and Middle Eastern-inspired food.

Performers include Kpop, Chinese folk and Latino dance groups based at WSU; guitarist and second-year medical student Hassan Ahmad, who will play Bollywood and South Asian-inspired music; and a spoken word performance by Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Ijeoma Nnodim-Opara, M.D. ’08, Res. ’12.

The fashion show will spotlight clothing from five regions, including Pacific Asian, South Asian, Middle-Eastern, African/African American/Diaspora and South American/Latino.

Students interesting in modeling in the fashion show may sign up at

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