Bringing the black lives matter movement to riverwood
Writers: Aolani Vann and Nyla Ward
What’s happening and why should it matter to you?
Every day, African Americans face harsh discrimination and police brutality in a gruesome fight for our rights just to be alive. The systems that promise to protect us are the same sentencing us to death before we get a chance to defend ourselves. Since this pandemic started, and the tragic death of George Floyd, the Black community and allies have used all platforms to fight for justice, spread love, and correct misinformation and slander, now more than we ever could before. We call for all students of Riverwood to do the same, use your voices, and take a stand.
What are youth doing now and why is it important?
Three teens from Katy, Texas, raised from 3 different ethnic backgrounds, created an activism group named Katy4Justice fighting for the Black Lives Matter movement. In 4 days, they got most of the youth in their town to join and organize a protest to bring justice to George Floyd. This was a beautiful example of looking past differences and cultural and political adversities to come together to do the right thing. This was especially heartwarming for 16-year-old Foyin Dosunmu, one of the original 3 students, and born to 2 Nigerian traveling engineers. She explained that growing up in schools full of only Arab or white students, it was important for her to feel like her voice was heard and people understood her struggle. It is so important to listen to the struggles of your friends and hear what they need because often our voices are looked over and diminished because of what society thinks of us. The youth must take the movement into our own hands because we are the future and the strongest generation yet.
Young actress, Yara Shahidi created a summit called Eighteenx18 because youth deserve to understand what is happening in politics before going into the polls. She then founded the WeVoteNext organization to focus on informing eligible voters of the importance of voting as much as they can, knowing their rights, and controversial current political issues. She is also an outspoken activist when it comes to major issues in the Black Lives Matter movement. She’s petitioned for subjects like properly treating black Covid-19 patients, defunding the police, and implementing more money into the healthcare and quality of living in the black community. She is now only 20 years old and working with advocates like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. She is proof we can use any influence we have to grow support and speak out about what is important to us.
Sources: The New York Times
What can you do?
The first step is communication and keeping up with what youth in the black community are already doing for the cause and giving them a helping hand. It is vital to make sure we are all heard in an organized, peaceful manner.
The second step is to filter out media and influencers with false information or negative biases on the movement and seek out primary sources or secondary sources with proven facts. This is a real organization, not an angry collection of riots as some sites may portray.
Thirdly, you must educate yourself, sign petitions, join protests and donate if you can, create flyers or posters, spread the word on social media, and encourage people to get out there and VOTE!!! We need as much support as we can get which includes that of people in positions of power.
Additionally, you also have the power to create organizations, fundraisers, and protests yourself to be even more hands-on in your activism journey. You have more power than you may think.
Here are some more sources for more information and resources for other issues:
…and 46 seconds to save a life
Remember that you have power in your words and power in your individual opinions. Use that to support your peers and create greatness. Each of the students of Riverwood has the privileges and resources to create our own chapter of this movement. This is not the time to pick fights, make excuses, or stay ignorant. It is the opportunity to do actively and consistently what you know is right.
After reading this article please take the time out to consider our message and take this survey so we know where you stand on this.
Remember your voice always matters especially when you’re using it for good: