by Ari Robin McKenna
Kaley Duong and Alexis Mburu knew there was something wrong with school, only it took them a while to find the right words, to know how to phrase them, and to channel their innate leadership ability. In middle school, both joined racial equity clubs that began to illuminate aspects of the issues they were seeing or facing. In high school, both began speaking out more frequently, organizing, and building community around taking action to address the ills of a system they were still in. During the 2021–2022 school year — when Duong was a senior and Mburu a junior — both were unstoppable, working tirelessly for racial equity in schools while organizing, participating in, and speaking at events that impacted thousands.
Continue reading How Kaley Duong and Alexis Mburu Became Award-Winning Youth Activists →
by Ari Robin McKenna
On Monday, a virtual ceremony was held to honor the 2021 Black Education Matters Student Activist Awards (BEMSAA). In addition to parents, mentors, friends, and teachers of the award winners, the event was attended by former NFL player Michael Bennet (who awarded Mia Dabney the Pennie Bennett Award), Seattle Seahawks player Bobby Wagner, former BEMSAA award winners, BEMSAA board members, and members of the media.
Continue reading KyRi Miller, Aneesa Roidad, & Mia Dabney Win 6th Annual BEMSAA Awards →
by Pari McDonald, Ana McDonald, Marina Rojas, and Chiara Zanatta-Kline
(This article originally appeared on the South End Stories Youth Blog.)
The voices of those who are furthest from opportunity, who are actively being suppressed and kept from voting, must be heard, especially during this election. Ana (18), Pari (15), and Cymran (13) McDonald decided they wanted to do something about creating easy, accessible ways for the communities that they love and who have lifted them up in life, to register to vote. The sisters worked with young adults Chiara and Marina to build Mini Voter Registration Boxes for areas where QT/BIPOC voters may have difficulty printing voter registration forms or may not be able to easily get stamps or envelopes, especially during COVID. The girls also wanted to ensure that young voters were easily able to access voter registration by providing texting and QR codes to register online. Boxes were placed in the Central District, New Holly, White Center, High Point, Renton, Federal Way, and Tacoma.
Continue reading OPINION: Let’s Go Vote →