2011 News Articles
What role does social media play in fomenting student activism?

What role does social media play in fomenting student activism?
September 14, 2011

Phil Brozynski
(630) 829-6094

Lisle, Illinois ~ Political and social revolution is born in the streets. From the Boston massacre in 1770 to the masses pouring out onto the streets of Cairo in January 2011, change often comes not from the end of a gun, but from the will of the mob.

However, the process by which political protests are galvanized has changed. Political upheaval is no longer sparked by word of mouth, but through posted messages on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.   

Rafia Zakaria, the first Pakistani American woman to serve as a director for Amnesty International U.S.A., will address the impact social media has on political change when she presents "Student Activism and Social Media: Egypt, China and the United States" at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 29 in the Krasa Presentation Room at Benedictine University.

Zakaria is a lawyer and the director of the Muslim Women's Legal Defense Fund for the Muslim Alliance of Indiana/The Julian Center Shelter. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Indiana University, currently working on her dissertation titled "Negotiating Identity: Sharia, multiculturalism and Muslim women."

She writes a weekly column for the Daily Times in Pakistan and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Arts and Letters Daily, the Nation and the American Prospect. Sponsored by the Department of Global Studies at Benedictine, the event is free and open to the public.



Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.