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10 Young Racial Justice Activists You Should Know

10 Young Racial Justice Activists You Should Know
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1. Nupol Kiazolu, 18 (@nupol_justice)

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Nupol Kiazolu is the President of the Youth Coalition for Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, founder and CEO of Vote 2000, and a DoSomething member! Nupol held her first protest at 13 years old, when she wore a black hoodie to school with “Do I look suspicious?” painted on the back shortly after the murder of Trayvon Martin. The 18-year-old Brooklyn native was named one of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21 last year.

2. Brea Baker, 24 (@freckledwhileblack)

Brea Baker is a recent Yale University grad and founder of the Head 2 Toe Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to support women and girls around the globe. While at Yale, Brea acted as president of the campus chapter of the NAACP during a nationally scrutinized email scandal, which sparked a conversation about free speech, community, and safety for people of color on college campuses. Brea now works for Justice League NYC.

3. Winter BreeAnne, 17 (@winterbreeanne)

Winter BreeAnne says she never saw herself becoming an activist, but by age 15, she had already founded her own advocacy organization. Black Is Lit began as an Instagram page hoping to even the playing field of racial representation on the app, and quickly transformed into a national movement. Inspired by Parkland student activists and the March For Our Lives, Winter also helped organize the National School Walkouts and joined TOMS as a spokesperson for their groundbreaking gun violence prevention campaign.

Credit: Vivien Killilea / Stringer

4. Ziad Ahmed, 20 (@ziadtheactivist)

Ziad Ahmed is an “unapologetic American-Muslim-Bangladeshi student activist, entrepreneur, and speaker.” In 2013, Ziad founded redefy, an international social justice organization that was created by and for teens. His own experience with being wrongfully placed on the TSA no-fly list inspired him to help young people combat racial prejudice both online and off. Ziad was named one of Three Dot Dash’s Global Teen Leaders, landed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and even had dinner with President Obama. (He also serves on DoSomething’s Marketing Advisory Board…we see you, Ziad!)

5. Winona Guo, 19 and Priya Vulchi, 19 (@choose_org)

In 2014, Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi realized their community didn’t know how to talk about race, even in their high school classrooms. So they founded CHOOSE and used this gap in their curriculums as an opportunity to start having tough conversations about intersectionality. What began as a website turned into The Classroom Textbook, the go-to guide for bringing racial literacy into the classroom. The two are also set to release another book, Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, and Identity, in June 2019, and last year, Forbes dubbed their TED Talk one of the top three presentations for TEDWomen.

6. Peyton Klein, 17 (@peytonklein)

Peyton Klein founded the Global Minds Initiative, a student-led organization that seeks to combat discrimination and promote inclusion in schools around the world. After seeing an ESL (English as a second language) classmate struggle to communicate with a teacher, Peyton realized just how many barriers these students face in order to access the same education as her. Global Minds acts as a support system for ESL students and teaches skills like leadership, community engagement, global friendship, cultural identity, and inclusivity.

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7. Zyahna Bryant, 17 (@ZyahnaB)

Zyahna Bryant was only 15 years old when she petitioned her local city council to take down a monument to Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia. One year later, hundreds of white supremacists rallied to preserve the statue, resulting in a violent and tragic clash with counter-protesters. Zyahna’s voice sparked a national conversation about what Confederate monuments like this represent in modern culture and why their lasting presence is hurtful to Black Americans.

Credit: Tasos Katopodis / Stringer

8. Thandiwe Abdullah, 15 (@thagirlthandi)

Black Lives Matter activist Thandiwe Abdullah thinks it’s time for the gun control conversation to be more intersectional. Her thought-provoking op-ed about media responses to the Parkland shooting went viral early last year, and she’s used that momentum to organize her classmates and community. Thandiwe is the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter LA Youth Vanguard and was named one of TIME’s most influential teens of 2018. She recently collaborated with Yara Shahidi and Angela Davis on a documentary theater performance in New York City.

Credit: Emma McIntyre / Staff

9. Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, 18 (@its.meiling)

Like many of her Marjory Stoneman Douglas classmates, Mei-Ling Ho-Shing transformed into a more vocal activist after surviving the devastating school shooting in Parkland, Florida. When organizers like David Hogg, Delaney Tarr, and Cameron Kasky quickly entered the spotlight in the wake of the shooting, Mei-Ling called out the jarring lack of intersectionality within the youth gun violence prevention movement. “Gun violence is capable of affecting everyone,” Mei-Ling writes. “The movement needs to look like everyone.”

Credit: Joe Readle / Staff

10. Edna Chavez, 18 (@ed.naaaa)

Since her electrifying and emotional speech at the March For Our Lives in 2018, Edna Chavez has become one of the leading voices in the gun control movement. But her activism didn’t start there. “The root of it was always immigration,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I was personally affected by it, by having my father taken away in 2016.” Edna works tirelessly to advocate for justice in marginalized and low-income communities, and encourages young people to take every opportunity to make their voices heard.

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Credit: Tommaso Boddi / Stringer





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