An activist and a scholar

January 13, 2017
Student Raven Ziegler

A member of the Kul Wicasa Oyate Tribe, U of M senior Raven Ziegler’s Lakota Sioux identity, language abilities, and cultural fluency have allowed her to connect with the next generation of Native American youth.

Through her work with the American Indian Student Cultural Center, Ziegler has worked with Native focused Migizi Communications and local Native communities to connect underrepresented high school students to University resources.

A double major in political science and sociology of law, criminology, and deviance, Ziegler sees her passions expanding to include influencing international policy.

Much of that was triggered during a semester abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where Ziegler was drawn to its culture of activism. At Cape Town, Ziegler witnessed protests against institutional racism through student movements like Rhodes Must Fall, which inspired her to dedicate her academic and professional life to global equality and justice.

“My advancement as an individual depends on the advancement of the most oppressed groups globally,” says Ziegler.

Since returning to the U of M, Ziegler has earned recognition for her engagement as a student activist, and as a leader in underrepresented communities. But she’s not quick to claim credit—after all, activism requires the actions of many.

“Every marginalized community knows what will produce the most efficient change for them,” says Ziegler. “Through collaboration, I merely act as a vehicle to build the structure of progression.”