Senior Zaria Osimetha founds Student Advocacy Coalition to raise awareness, foster discussion
Since the summer, students have become increasingly more involved in activism as racial injustice coverage has become more prevalent in the news. Their goal is to ensure that the stories of many that face prejudice are heard.
Due to the pandemic, involvement in activism began virtually for many students. A student-led organization called Student Advocacy Coalition, was created this summer by senior Zaria Osimetha as a way to fight cultural and racial injustice with the use of social media.
“After the murder of George Floyd, I was kind of at a loss, and I didn’t know what to do,” Osimetha said. “After I talked it over with some friends, I realized that there was a deficit in DFW. There’s nowhere in the area that students can turn to to learn about the injustices that are directly relevant to society right now. I wanted to provide something that students could be a part of to hear about various injustices and learn how to help.”
Various students have joined SAC as a way to raise awareness. SAC members see the organization as a place to engage the public.
“Our goal is to teach and educate our community, specifically kids our age and younger,” SAC secretary and senior Monse Rodriguez said. “It’s important to have these conversations so that we can work to chip away at systemic racism and injustice. So far, we’ve been able to talk about the Black Lives Matter movement, mental health and the immigration crisis.”
SAC believes it is important for students to be educated on current injustices. In their opinion, the school is a very small and sheltered community, which some students feel can create issues for education on racial injustice.
“It’s extremely easy at ESD to close yourself off from the problems of the real world,” SAC member and senior Susanna Newsom said. “In other words, you can get trapped in a bubble, caring only about the problems right in front of you. Our community (including administration) is predominantly white, so racial issues tend to not be on the forefront of the community’s mind. It is imperative that as a school, ESD directly condemns systemic racism and takes tangible steps to combat ignorance and oppression in our community. I’m responsible for doing the same, and that’s why I joined SAC.”
Due to easy access to large audiences, social media has become an indispensable tool in spreading awareness about issues relevant to race.
“Social media is arguably the greatest facilitator of information to younger generations,” Newsom said. “SAC uses social media to disseminate current events, noteworthy judicial cases and more so that teenagers can easily become informed.”
Students involved in SAC find it necessary for our community to become more involved in activism and to be better informed.
“I think that it is really easy to get trapped in the ‘bubble’ of our daily lives,” Osimetha said. “Additionally, it is extremely difficult to find non partisan facts on basic issues. I believe that SAC addressed both those issues by creating a space where students have several opportunities to absorb information in various formats, at their own will.”