Folks that hold historically marginalized identities operate and live in spaces where we have to be bold and uncomfortable in order to enact change in our communities.
We cannot be silent because our silence is a surrender to our impending death.
We are the people on the frontlines, the first ones hit, and the last ones to go home.
There are some days when I lay in my bed and wish that I could fall back asleep and not be “woke” to the prejudices and discrimination that I face.
I wish that I could just walk around the park, and ignore the way people clutch their purses when they walk by me. I wish I could just drive to my grandmother’s country home and not be reminded of Sandra Bland and the countless others black and brown bodies that met their creator on those Texas country backroads. I wish I could just watch my little brother play in his soccer game and not question whether the security guard at the park is there to protect him or whether he might take my brother’s life to maintain the community that sees him as a threat.
Sadly, I cannot live that life. We, as change agents cannot live that life because that is not our reality. We can, however, enjoy life, though we are constantly in battle. We can laugh, sing, dance, travel, and love. We are capable of sculpting the world into a harmonious place of peace, love and equity. Unfortunately, most times I wake up and have to face the heavy weight of the battle to be won.
I remind myself that I am not alone in my efforts. That I am in battle with countless others, advocating and fighting for change in their communities. That I’m alive because of the countless advocates, activists, and change agents who woke up and kept fighting though to victory, even when winning seemed hopeless with the physical and mental chains that trapped them.
Us, the changemakers, are a part of a beautiful lineage of generations who enacted change. And it’s our time to determine how our generation is going to sculpt the world in our image. I believe in this generation of changemakers, because I’ve been given the opportunity to be in community with them through Young People For. I would not be the bold activist I am today without my mentor and Young People For family.