Simran Dali, a junior majoring in International Studies, is a student leader focused on community resiliency, equity and inclusion. Simran is a leader whose commitment to creating inclusive and equitable community shines through her experiences at Dickinson and in Carlisle. She has worked with the Carlisle Community Action Network and local nonprofits in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to support recovery efforts that protect the vulnerable. Whether mentoring other international students, supporting local nonprofits through the COVID-19 crisis, or researching community networks, Simran’s dedication and flexibility have contributed to making Dickinson—and Carlisle—a better place.
Before moving to the US for college, ‘Diversity’ ‘Equity’ and ‘Inclusion’ were not words I heard too often, especially in education. DEI work in education is distinctly different at home in Nepal than in the US because of the homogenous culture, religion, and ethnicity. The education system favors the few wealthy enough to afford private school, disproportionately leaving the poor masses at public schools that severely lack resources. To take a small step in minimizing these socioeconomic inequities, I volunteered to help a local youth organization build a library for a rural school in highschool. After coming to Dickinson, I encountered a new type of DEI work focused on diversifying the student population and promoting intercultural competence in the community. I learned DEI work comes in various forms and can hold different meanings. Moreover, to be successful, it has to continue. On campus, I served as an upperclassman mentor to help drive academic and co-curricular excellence among historically underrepresented students like first-generation, international, POC, and black students in a long-term mentorship program. I continue to help promote cross-cultural understanding and build awareness of the different nations represented at Dickinson as a board member for an international club on campus.