As Dialogue on Race Louisiana has grown, so has our team! From Board members to staff to facilitators, we have a lot of talented people in our midst. If you are interested in learning about our team and what it is like to work with us, you’re in the right place. We hope this blog series is a fun way to tell you about our favorite memories, our least favorite chores, or what book we just can’t put down!
We’d like you to meet Zarinah Salahuddin, Dialogue on Race Louisiana’s Serve Louisiana member and an amazing addition to our team. Read on to learn more about her!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m originally from Florida, but I’ve lived in multiple states. I also graduated last year with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. I’ve always been aware of how humans negatively impact their local environment due to my upbringing in Southern California. There, they enforced laws against watering your lawns on certain days and times. During the 10 years I lived in California, I also experienced many mountain or valley fires. It would even rain ash and some of my classmates had to evacuate their homes. My interest in nature and the environment started early, but it wasn’t until high school and college where I started to learn more about the terms “environmental racism” and “environmental justice.”
How did you first learn about DORLA?
I first learned about DORLA from a conversation I had with one of our Original Series alumni and current co-facilitator, Maggie Conarro.
What do you do at DORLA?
I joined this organization as a full-time member through Serve Louisiana’s AmeriCorps program. As a full-time member, I have assisted my part-time colleagues in their tasks for our social media content, email marketing with Constant Contact, and series coordination. While I will continue to support my colleagues, especially with social media promotion and content, I have also been serving as the staff liaison for DORLA’s renewed Action Committee. I’m looking forward to working on our upcoming outreach opportunity!
What do you like about working with DORLA?
Besides meeting and working with an amazing group of people, I also enjoy the community engagement parts of DORLA. For example, I love learning and talking about institutional racism with the community during our Race In Conversation and Culture Club events.
What are the values that drive you?
Honesty, justice, curiosity, compassion, and respect for myself, the environment, and my community.
What is your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?
I usually listen to music, read a book, or watch a new episode of one of my favorite shows.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
The Dominican Republic. We went there in January 2020, a few months before the Coronavirus pandemic. I enjoyed everything about my trip there, I enjoyed leaving all the concerns of America behind – -it was truly a vacation. I also came back so happy and relaxed, we started the new year off on a high note … I would like to go back!
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
Before I knew of the existence of the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff), I would have said telepathy, now I want all of the powers that come with being the Scarlet Witch.
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Salmon, garlic butter mashed potatoes, kale, and dulce de leche ice cream.
If you could magically become fluent in any language, what would it be?
If I could become a polyglot, I would want to learn all the languages that would help me in my journey against global inequalities like poverty, Climate Change, natural resource mismanagement, and environmental racism. Also, I’ve been working on learning Arabic, Danish, and Spanish for many years now, so I would love to become fluent in those three languages.
Are you an alumni that wants to volunteer with Dialogue on Race Louisiana? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can get involved!