Karima Alwishah noticed the air pollution in her community. After coming to campus, she learned that there were ways to advocate for air quality. So she got involved.
The public health major submitted public comments at a hearing with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. And she designed a campaign to assess and educate residents on soil contamination affecting household gardens in her community. Alwishah currently leads a team of students to collaborate with a respected community leader around air pollution issues.
“I translate and apply the knowledge gained in class to benefit and empower my community of south Dearborn around air quality issues,” she said.
Alwishah recently was selected by the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition to serve on a 10-person Clean Air Council, a fellowship hosted and sponsored by Wayne State University Transnational Environmental Law Clinic at Wayne Law with support from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. Through this work, she is gaining applied knowledge related to air pollution, environmental racism and the Clean Air Act from longtime experts in law, environmental health and community organizing.
“Ms. Alwishah is an asset to UM-Dearborn, the field of public health and the City of Dearborn,” said Assistant Professor Natalie Sampson. “I have no doubt that she will successfully complete her studies and contribute to society in positive and notable ways.”
On campus, Alwishah is on the Dean's List and a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society.
Alwishah said she’s inspired by her professors and community leaders who are in the environmental justice field. And she plans to assist in and continue on their efforts.
“I want to be committed to the work of environmental justice in my community and in the state of Michigan,” Alwishah said. “I hope that one day, I will be part of the change in Michigan's environmental justice movement.”