Ilina is a graduate from the University of Michigan (2019) with a BA in History and a minor in Gender & Health. Her experiences as a first generation Kashmiri woman and a political organizer inform her views on the need for activism to empower her community members and to deconstruct systems of power in the struggle for equality. Having an interest in post-colonial South Asia and Asian American activism, she strives to bring visibility to her Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) counterparts whose histories are often neglected. Through this UM History Lab, Ilina hopes to deconstruct stereotypes often attributed to the AAPI community as well as bring LGBTQ and activist narratives to the forefront of this research.
With her experience in political organizing, human rights research and public policy, Ilina hopes to work with marginalized communities to empower them and build solidarity between various groups. Through her research and activism, she aims to inform her audience and to build a more equitable society. Ilina recently published a paper on Kashmir in the context of partition in the Michigan Journal of History. She is currently a Michigan in the World 2019 Fellow researching the University of Michigan's role in the U.S. administration of the Philippines.
Jhoanne is a graduate from the University of Michigan ‘19 with a BA in Art & Design and a minor in Asian Languages & Cultures. Her childhood as a Filipino immigrant in the U.S. taught her the power of language, visual and verbal, to connect with those around her. Since then, Jhoanne finds her cross-cultural identity as an Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) to be an inspiration to learn more about her own heritage and the history of AAPI in the United States. Through this UM history lab, Jhoanne hopes to break the stereotypes built around AAPI and move away from the “Model Minority” label and its harmful impacts in today’s society.
With her experience in visual communication and creative storytelling, Jhoanne hopes to use her skills in capturing real life experiences and transforming them into visuals to help broaden the minds of her audiences and motivate them to try learning about other cultures. Through videos, illustrations, books, or animations, Jhoanne is always looking for the next opportunity to translate life experiences and stories into art. Her creative career continues to be a journey of telling multicultural stories that cross boundaries and seek to share, to learn, and to grow.