Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership


Angie Bittar

Angie Bittar
First Year
Political Science
Sylvania, OH

One of the many social justice issues that are often overlooked is the complex matter of cultural appropriation. As our world evolves with new forms of media including Twitter, Instagram, and celebrity culture continuing to spread, far too often people cross the fine line between appreciation and appropriation … This problem does not lie in the adoption of various cultures, as respectful adoption and acceptance of culture is exactly the kind of diversity I believe we need. The problem lies in the exploitation and often even the sexualization of traditional practices that are held sacred by their culture of origin. This injustice can be seen most prominently in the appropriation of Native American culture. Far too often, we see Western cultures exploiting Native culture through the use of (often provocative) Native American costumes, tribal prints on clothing or other items, and the use of headdresses by non-Natives. The use of all these items completely disregards the spiritual significance of the symbols they exploit for profit while Western culture, in general, continues to reject actual Native Americans … Addressing appropriation is a key aspect of embracing the intersectionality of modern day feminism and racial activism. I would use my education at Loyola to find a way to pay that education forward … By understanding the problem at its source, I believe that, with the tools of leadership and education I would gain from my experience at Loyola, I could truly make a difference by educating others around the globe on the implications of this form of cultural appropriation.