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At the Union of Activists, a Cause for Celebration


Emily Mayer and Waleed Shahid, who met in college, deepened their love as each inspired the other to promote change in their communities. Emily Mayer and Waleed Shahid were married May 14 at Gather Greene, an events space and retreat center in Coxsackie, N.Y.Cindy Schultz for The New York Times Emily Ann Frank Mayer was wearing a red cardigan with a sizable hole in the armpit when she caught Waleed Shahid’s eye while reciting a poem during an open mic night at Haverford College in September 2010.

“It was a bold move,” he said, referring to her sweater choice.

After the event, in a bold move of his own, Mr. Shahid, a sophomore, approached Ms. Mayer, a freshman, and invited her to a party his friends were throwing that evening.

But Ms. Mayer had other plans, she told him. It wasn’t long before their paths crossed again at Haverford, which is about 10 miles from Philadelphia and had a student population of less than 1,200 at the time.

Both realized after meeting that they were taking the same science class, and used it as an opportunity to get to know each other better. From Berkeley, Calif., Ms. Mayer is Jewish, while Mr. Shahid […]

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