Good Morning America | May 10th 2021
(This is an excerpt from a larger list of inspirational people for GMA's AAPI month)
Munawwar Abdulla nominates Maisam “Maya” Mitalipova and Aziza Rozi
Maisam “Maya” Mitalipova has unparalleled energy in everything she does. Not only is she one of the leading stem cell researchers in the world, creating some of the world’s first calf clones at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and continuing her work at the Whitehead Institute at MIT with Embryonic Stem Cells and neurodegenerative diseases, but she is also an avid advocate for the rights of Uyghur people and other persecuted groups in the Uyghur region known as East Turkistan or XUAR, China. Maya can be seen protesting regularly around Boston with her group at the Boston Uyghur Association, and calling Senate and House representatives daily to pass resolutions that will have an impact on the way Uyghurs are treated in their homeland. She does her utmost in spreading awareness of the Uyghur situation while working with a wider community of allies, and provides much needed help to Uyghurs in the diaspora however she can. Furthermore, during the pandemic, Maya learned her skills to help understand and combat SARS-CoV-2 by using human stem cell technology to generate a broad range of cell types, which are then exposed to the virus to define its tropism and test for therapeutic interventions that would inhibit propagation.
Aziza Rozi is slowly carving out her name in the fashion world as a recent graduate from the Parsons New School of Design, specializing in fashion, menswear and contemporary craft. She has been featured in various magazines, including Vogue, and has used her particular set of skills to create a platform to “expose human rights issues against Uyghurs in China while celebrating Uyghur culture through a tailored fashion collection” in the form of Tailor Politics. Aziza uses fashion to challenge broader notions of colonial garment by the influence of Uyghur identity, and traditional dress, in the revival of Uyghur culture in the contemporary. She has also hosted public events and talks to discuss broader issues of displacement across nations.