Labiba Qazi

4th Year Undergraduate in Computer Science, Michigan Engineering

Labiba Qazi is passionate about student advocacy. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been a pertinent focus within her work. She is the current President of the Engineering Student Government (ESG), representing over 11,000 students, and has served as the social chair for the Muslim Engineering Society (MES), the DEI chair for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and also as the Students of Michigan Chair on the Central Student Government executive board before coming to U-M as a transfer student. During her time in ESG and MES, she has championed initiatives that advocate for reducing biases in recruitment for organizations and has voted to provide funding for other student organizations and project teams, focusing on events with the greatest impact and focus on DEI and student life. Qazi continues to work with administration and faculty to discuss equity-centered engineering curriculum and she has hosted workshops such as STEMclusivity, which focus on disability equity, academic disparity, and other topics within engineering – such as implementing a Code Lab for students to easily access help.

Being your best DEI self: Think of a time when you were at your best at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. What happened? Who was there? Why did you feel at your best?

“I’m at my best when I’m working with my peers to solve the pertinent issues students face on campus with regard to accessibility and accommodations. As the previous chair of the DEI committee in Engineering Student Government, we reached out to faculty and administration to provide insight through seminars on the resources that exist for students and provide their input on how all students within student organizations can make organizations more accessible. When these talks create actual change within organizations, it benefits all students, but especially provides a more equitable space for those who need better support.”

In envisioning the future, how would you describe progress in the realm of diversity, equity, and inclusion? What might it look like?

“DEI work involves heavy conversations; I envision progress to represent conversations that are heard and understood by all. Further, I envision spaces where action, whether in terms of initiative or attitude, is taken immediately.”

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?

“I am very honored to be selected as a nominee; I acknowledge that the work that I do is small in comparison, but every student I can encourage through my leadership to work towards further progress within DEI issues, and every student I can impact positively is an accomplishment for me.”