Award-winning RIC student on a mission to change campus dialogue

Mariama Kurbally
RIC junior Mariama Kurbally is one of eight students in the state to win the Rhode Island Campus Compact’s Raise Your Voice contest for her role in the L.I.F.E. (Live, Inspire, Fight, Educate) diversity conference.

Kurbally’s winning entry was the impact her vision of the student organization L.I.F.E., and its yearly conference, Diversity is a Way of L.I.F.E.

Kurbally founded the L.I.F.E. organization in 2009 as a project to promote diversity, cultural awareness and professional development programs for students because she felt it was not focused on the college campus.

“The conference brings together educators, students, artists and community-based activists to build a movement to develop and promote dialogue and diversity as a method of social existence,” said Kurbally, who coordinates the annual event.

Kurbally wants to leave a legacy that fosters high achieving diverse learning. She wants RIC students to gain the tools and knowledge to reach their full potential through the programming and initiatives hosted by her organization.

“Each year, the conference takes diversity work to new levels by building on the concepts previously presented and challenging presenters and participants to be visionary in their thoughts and actions,” Kurbally said.

The Raise Your Voice contest encourages college students to implement change on campus and in the community, by identifying a pressing issue and creating awareness to promote change.

Kurbally is also one of 135 chosen as a Newman Civic Fellow, from among 30 states, nominated by college and university presidents. The fellowship, named after Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, recognizes student leaders that inspire and demonstrate an investment in finding solutions for the challenges facing the communities throughout the country.

The Rhode Island Campus Compact is a coalition of colleges and universities dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement and service learning in higher education.