At Young Women Empowered (Y-WE) we center the voices of young people, especially BIPOC youth. We are honored and inspired by the young people who have chosen to share their voices with us everyday as they reflect on the Black Lives Matter movement which continues to set historical precedence in the fight against racial injustice in America. Here are some highlights from just a few of our youth and alum who have spoken up during this time:
Y-WE Alum and Board-member, Rahwa Ghebremichael, led a protest at CHOP centering the Eritrean and Ethiopian communities in the Black Lives Matter movement.
After participating in the protests for weeks, Rahwa saw a need to co-organize her own protest with her friends, family, and community.
Y-WE is so inspired by Rahwa’s continual leadership and her commitment to social justice.
When talking about the Black Lives Matter movement Rahwa said, “this is a global issue and it is critical that we continue to show up and stand against police brutality.”
Thank you for all your incredible work, Rahwa!
Deconstructing the system on Instagram
Y-WE Alum Viv Brannock shares this video on what radical change actually means, and many more insightful commentaries on her new Instagram page @pissedblackgirlrants.
Hosting book clubs
Two of our youth, Savannah Blackwell and Lucia Santos, are organizing a recurring book club to discuss and reflect on the book “Are Prisons Obsolete?” by renowned scholar and revolutionary Angela Davis.
“We feel that literature and reading are incredible methods of sharing information and connecting with others, and now is a moment in which we feel it is crucial to reach out and have conversations about the way abolition and pro-black activism can become tangible in our society and lives.”
This group is BIPOC youth led and will prioritize the voices of Black youth, but ALL young people are welcome. The first meeting will take place on July 22nd to discuss chapters 1 & 2. The group will then continue monthly.
Mya Johnson, a Y-WE Alum, shared her insight with us:
“A lot of people have reached out to me recently to ask how I’ve been with all the protests going on. I appreciate non-black people reaching out, but it’s also like hey, I’ve been Black my whole life. I’ve dealt with racism my entire life. There’s been times I wished someone would reach out, even more so than I would right now. Continue to emotionally support and check in with the Black people around you even after there’s no longer #BlacklivesMatter trending and no longer ongoing protests.”
Meeting with other allies
“With the surge in the Black Lives Matter Movement I have been taking much more action in my own life and through influencing the lives of my classmates. I attended the White Allies Solidarity/Accountability group Y-WE put together and was inspired. From that group I decided to go on and create a White Allies Solidarity/Accountability group in my school. We have been meeting for the past four weeks and have been talking about things like white fragility, white privilege, and how we can mobilize our privilege in this movement without making it about us. I have also been attending various protests in the CD where I live. Here there is a mass movement of gentrification that I have seen push out small businesses, workers from their jobs, and families out of their homes, so going to these protests in the CD is super important for me.
We cannot let this movement slow. As a white person I have a responsibility to keep doing the work, to keep pushing other white people to redistribute their resources, and to not allow white fragility to slip into places of power. White fragility feeds systemic oppression. The majority of this country’s government is made up of white people and if they can’t talk about racial injustice no change will be made. Allyship is trending, but it should just be a constant reality.”
-Rory Eggler, Y-WE Youth
Fighting for racial justice is work that Y-WE has always done. We are so proud and inspired to see our young changemakers take their place in their communities and stand up for justice and love. We are still here, still dedicated, and looking forward to how we can continue to support our community.
If you would like to stay updated with more stories, subscribe to our newsletter!