Moderator and the Director of the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives
Sofía Snow is the Director of the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) at UW–Madison, which administers the First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Scholarship Program. An alumna of the inaugural cohort to graduate from the First Wave program, Snow is an interdisciplinary performing artist who is passionate about developing talented artists in higher education. Before returning to UW, she served as executive director of Urban Word NYC, one of the oldest and most comprehensive youth literary arts organizations in the U.S. First Wave is a nationally recognized program known for pushing the boundaries of poetry, dance, theater and art — the first and only program of its type in the country. First Wave scholars pursue their creative potential through a focus on three pillars: academics, activism and art. In addition to First Wave, OMAI houses a suite of innovative programs, including the Hip Hop in the Heartland educator training series, the annual Passing the Mic and Line Breaks festivals, and Madison’s longest-running all-age open mic event, Just Bust!
This panel was thoughtfully crafted to provide a platform for students that identify as Black, Indigenous, South/East Asian, Latinx or Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander to authentically share personal stories on their journeys to find inclusivity and a sense of belonging within the UW campus community. Curated by the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement, the panel showcases a diverse array of student experiences, encompassing various ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, abilities, genders, and sexualities. This part of the Diversity Forum is to offer a space for BIPOC students to be heard and for attendees to learn and engage while exploring the dynamics of identity.