C. Eugene Allen Award for Innovative International Initiatives (III)

Members of the hijab initiative team with Dean Meredith McQuaid2017 Recipient

Hijab Initiative
Karen Kaler, U of M Bookstores, U of M Women's Center, UMTC

Members of the University of Minnesota Hijab Initiative found a new way to brighten the Twin Cities campus, to spread school spirit, and respectfully acknowledge differences within our community.

This group has been creative and responsive as well as innovative at an important time on our campus. In 2014 Karen Kaler had an idea to bring together a group of people who could design and promote accessible and inclusive spirit wear for Muslim women at the University. And, over a three-year period, more than 20 hijab-wearing students— international and domestic—worked with five University units to make the idea possible: the University Bookstore and the Women’s Center, with support from the Student Union and Activities, Office of Equity and Diversity, and ISSS.

When this initiative started, the group was unable to identify any other university, college, or educational institutions that provided spirit wear for women of the Muslim faith. The new line of hijabs sold at the Bookstore puts into practice what we have been saying—that all are welcome here.