I had the pleasure of speaking with Ali Kleiche of Harold Washington College about his experiences as an amazing and impactful chapter leader. One thing that really sets the Harold Washington College chapter apart is their commitment to serving the world as well as their local community in the city of Chicago. Ali mentioned many times that the chapter wants to spread knowledge about the vital work of the United Nations with community members and students in order to involve as many people as possible in human rights initiatives. In addition, Ali and his team have also worked very hard to educate others about social issues such as racism, bias, and discrimination.
One of the biggest accomplishments that Ali noted was creating a large UN Day event in October that incorporated multiple guest speakers such as the French ambassador and the President of Harold Washington College. Their UN Day celebration was 5 hours long, bridged the gap between students and community members, and educated the community on the work that the United Nations does. The celebration was a huge success, due to all of the work that Ali and his executive board members put into marketing the celebration and bringing amazing guest speakers to campus.
Another successful event that the Harold Washington chapter planned was an Adopt-A-Future fundraiser for DACA and refugee students. Ali invited students and faculty to give testimonies about their experiences as refugees. The stories that these refugees told were very impactful to the community, which allowed the chapter to raise over $200 for Adopt-A-Future.
In the coming months, Ali and his executive board members hope to put on a cultural fashion show. They want students from other countries to wear their native clothing and really celebrate the unique culture that they identify with. A main goal of the chapter is to create a space for international students to connect with other students and overcome culture shock as well. This cultural fashion show will help students learn more about other cultures and gain an appreciation for them. I’m confident that this event will be yet another successful event for the Harold Washington chapter.
All in all, the Harold Washington Chapter is dedicated to educating and engaging students and community members about the work the United Nations does, creating a safe space for DACA students, establishing dialogues about social issues, and advocating for others’ rights. I’m so excited to recognize the Harold Washington Chapter and its executive board for all of the hard work that they have put into their programming and advocacy work to create change on the local and global scales.