How I Strive to Impact the Community

February 4, 2021

Cherry Hill East students from African American Culture Club advocate for change. (Courtesy of @cheactivities Instagram)

I have always been an active member in my community, both in and out of school. However, I changed from just being “a part of my community” to “impacting my community” recently, by stepping out of my comfort zone to bring the community together.

It is important to use this time in our lives to educate ourselves and notice that Black People are still suffering from systematic racism and oppression.

After being inspired by the growing Black Lives Matter movement across the country, the leaders of the African American culture club and I decided to take action as well. Over this past summer, we organized a protest and march called “The Learning Begins Now; Stop the Ignorance” in our community in order to emphasize the importance and necessity of the education of African American history in our school districts, by demanding a mandatory African American Studies course as a graduation requirement. My involvement with the movement has not ended with the conclusion of the protest. I have continued to push for the development of a new African American

Cherry Hill East students expressing their views on Black Lives Matter. (Courtesy of @cheactivities Instagram)

Studies course as well as the African American Studies curriculum.

I did not leave it up solely to the district to implement these changes; I have volunteered my time on many occasions to challenge and change the system in place. There was a Social Justice Committee formed where we are working with author, Gholdy Muhammand, to implement in all subjects and grade levels in order to “Cultivate Genius “ in all students, especially those that are systematically marginalized.

There was another committee formed called Courageous Conversations, which are discussions with the Camden County Superintendents as well as other Camden County students regarding reforms in our school communities to benefit underserved students, especially those of minorities. In addition, I have continued to voice my opinions and have been interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer. I was also interviewed by Debrah Roberts for an ABC News Nightline story that has not been released yet.

However, the work that needs to be done is not over; as for this is not a trend, it is a movement that people of my generation are changing. So despite leaving for college soon, I will continue to not only use my voice to present solutions for my home community, but take any actions necessary in order to be a part of these solutions.

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