Cassandra Garcia (she/hers) is a student affairs professional and scholar-activist whose work and research seeks to address issues of equity and inclusion within Higher Education. Raised in San Jose and a current denizen of San Francisco, Garcia is committed to advancing post-secondary institutions in her home, California’s Bay Area, by making education more accessible and responsive to student needs.
Garcia currently serves as a program associate at the Markaz Resource Center at Stanford University, a space dedicated to supporting Muslim and Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian (MENASA) students on campus. In this work, Garcia has had the honor of leading a welcoming center that seeks to engage and empower a vibrant student community. Whether bringing contemporary Muslim leaders, like activist Linda Sarsour, to campus or organizing Islamophobia trainings for resident assistants and professional staff, Garcia aims to ensure that all Markaz students feel a sense of connection and belonging. She is proud to act as a conduit between the community and the institution, providing opportunities for all students to actively shape their university.
Prior to arriving at Stanford, Garcia’s professional and academic career has been driven by a desire to address institutionalized Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism in the United States. In 2012, she completed a Bachelors of Arts in Middle Eastern history at San Francisco State University and began working as the Engagement and Outreach Associate at Golden Thread Productions, a theatre company that produces work from and about the Middle East. In this position, she partnered with local artists, activists and educators to challenge main stream narratives about the Middle East, one play at a time. In many ways, Garcia’s time in the theatre shaped her current work as she continues to utilize the arts as a way to build community, foster critical understanding, and address injustice, both here and abroad.
Cassie is a current Masters candidate in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program at the University of San Francisco. In her final year, Garcia hopes to finish a thesis on on the educational experiences of student activists who organize around Palestine and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at universities in the Bay Area.