I have surely never been quiet about my political beliefs. My whole life I have been told “treat others the way you want to be treated”, and I try to make sure this is the leading mentality in my life. In the past, this mindset has led me to march for gun safety and for environmental justice. It has driven my studies on the environment and politics. In the present, it has been displayed in my willingness to wear a mask, in reaching out to family members to simply say ‘hi, I am thinking of you, and my participation in marches for the equal protection of black lives in our nation.
Looking back on 2020, I have felt the most empowered as a person of color in moments of activism. The Black Lives Matter movement featured a large sea of people from different backgrounds. It stood as an invitation for anyone to gain an understanding of racism in America and to support the Black community. I have long struggled to justify my culture and race as a result of my adoption. But when I stand up for things I believe in, I know I am growing comfortable with who I am while strengthening the voice of important movements nationwide.
Aside from marching in the streets, I was lucky to experience the true effects of my vote in the 2020 presidential election. I have had friendships tested and have seen firsthand how tense relationships get when there’s something critical to individual beliefs on the line. I also landed an internship with the Social Justice Education Department at my university and have realized how eye opening anecdotal experiences can be if you give individuals the opportunity to share. Although activism is just one part of my 2020 journey, I will continue it in 2021. I am eager to change lives for the better.