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Intern receives award for on-campus reporting on discrimination against Muslim students

Intern receives award for on-campus reporting on discrimination against Muslim students

May 17, 2016Beth Schwartz

Antoinette D’Addario’s experience as an intern on the Narratives/Counter-Narratives project at START inspired her to write a piece on the stigmatization of American Muslims, particularly Muslim students, for a magazine publication at her university. The story was awarded “Best Magazine Article” by American Way of Life magazine, American University’s investigative journalism publication.

“During my internship, I realized that there needs to be a movement in the media to end harmful stereotypes about American Muslims and to begin re-building affected communities,” said D’Addario, a sophomore majoring and journalism and criminology.

In performing research for the magazine article, D’Addario interviewed Muslims students at American University and was shocked by some of their experiences.

“Some of these students told me stories about being followed home from the metro, or being told that America is losing the war in Iraq due to Islam,” said D’Addario. “I felt enraged about the injustices they face simply because of their religious practices. These were some of the kindest people I had ever met.”

During her time at START, D’Addario worked on a virtual library for the Narratives/Counter-Narratives project which will offer people who wish to better understand violent extremists’ argumentation, as well as counter and alternative narratives, a safe place to learn about those topics.

D’Addario was nervous when she began her internship at START because of her background in reporting, but quickly learned new skills that helped her understand both research fundamentals and new information about Islam, which in-turn have improved her ability to connect with many different types of people. She hopes to carry these skills with her during her career, and to one day combine her interest in journalism and criminology by becoming a crime reporter.

“My work here at START has shown me that there are many different types of crime,” said D’Addario. “Going forward, I would like to report on traditional criminal acts, but also shine a light on underrepresented issues such as stereotyping and stigmatization.”

To read the full story, titled “Muslim Students Threatened by Stereotypes: Perception Inception”, click here.