CommonGround is proud to congratulate Tahany Alsabahi and ‘Dolapo Adeniji on their recent graduation and post-graduate employment!
As Program Coordinators, both Tahany and ‘Dolapo managed workshop requests. They communicated with requesters, created curriculum centered around requester goals and group needs, and supported the development and training of CommonGround facilitators through weekly meetings, coaching, and workshop planning. They have both contributed in countless ways towards creating a more vibrant, supportive, and inclusive program and community and by developing stronger, more skilled, and more empathetic CommonGround staff and facilitators.
Tahany graduated with degrees in International Studies and Middle Eastern & North African Studies, and a minor in Community Action and Social Change. Tahany has been involved with CommonGround for the past 4 years. She started as a workshop facilitator and quickly transitioned into the Programming Team as a Program Coordinator for the following 3 years. ‘Dolapo graduated with a degree in International Studies, and a minor in Crime and Justice. ‘Dolapo has been involved with CommonGround for 3 years -- first as a workshop facilitator and then as a Program Coordinator for 2 years.
Outside of CommonGround, Tahany and ‘Dolapo have both advanced social justice through a variety of experiences. To name just a few accomplishments: Tahany has been involved in Intergroup Dialogue courses, Summer Youth Dialogues, Doors of Opportunity, and Students Allied for Freedom and Equality; ‘Dolapo has been dedicated to supporting inclusive student communities through her work in the Ginsberg Center Student Advisory Board, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and Intergroup Dialogue courses.
Over their time at CommonGround, Tahany and ‘Dolapo have grown tremendously as individuals, activists and educators. Both have gained facilitation and professional skills, confidence, self-awareness, and an increased ability to articulate themselves and their values. They have developed deep relationships, critically considered social justice as a non-linear journey, and have made a lasting impact on the CommonGround community.
The following CommonGround reflections are compiled with direct quotes collected from the CommonGround staff and students:
Reflections on Tahany
Tahany’s leadership style in CommonGround has been crucial to our success. She is able to keep her team members focused on the important issues and tasks at hand, while still making the space feel comfortable, warm, and inviting to all perspectives. Tahany continues to strive to make sure CommonGround is represented in a way which truly aligns with the value of social justice and equity. The perspective she brings into CommonGround, with regards to resistance and pushing back against systems of oppression is amazing. [She] is a leader who navigates easily between being outspoken and hanging back to let others speak. No matter her role, she is always thinking strategically about how to push forward CommonGround’s goals and how to keep us aligned with our values. Her intentionality helps to create rich learning edge opportunities and helps us protect marginalized participants from being harmed as we strive towards social justice through dialogue and education. Tahany has brought nothing but wisdom and insight to this program, as well as laughs. Tahany, it will be very hard to replace what you’ve brought to IGR/ CG over your 4 years here… please stay!
Reflections on ‘Dolapo
‘Dolapo’s positive energy and enthusiastic inclusion of all CG members has helped us to be a cohesive, fun and loving team. ‘Dolapo brings energy and light into work that can be exhaustive and frustrating. There is no question that she walks the talk; when it comes to justice, she makes the time and lives out her values. [She] has great skill in being perceptive of group dynamics, addressing them, and making everyone feel included and important. [‘Dolapo has made an impact at CommonGround] by challenging us to always grow and learn. ‘Dolapo constantly pushes CG to be better in all ways through asking great questions and sparking meaningful, needed dialogue where others may be hesitant. ‘Dolapo has a keen ability to synthesize many thoughts within a dialogue and surface key patterns and insights. She is able to challenge dominant narratives directly while still conveying a strong sense of empathy and compassion for her dialogue participants. In CommonGround, ‘Dolapo has been essential in helping me to feel comfortable, trusted and worthwhile or valued. She is critical in the very best ways that push social justice forward and she cares immensely for her friends and the people she invests in. ‘Dolapo, You will be sorely missed!
Where Are They Now?
‘Dolapo moved to the Washington, D.C. area where she now works as a Human Resources Rotational Program Associate at Capital One. Tahany recently began her new position as the Office Coordinator of University of Michigan's LSA Center for Community-Engaged Academic Learning (CEAL)!
We are certain they will bring their voices and thoughtful care to all their future work, relationships, and learning. We are so excited to see where ‘Dolapo and Tahany’s journeys take them -- All the best!