By Julia Kemp
During Black History Month, it is important to remember the important strides that the changemakers of our past made to achieve progress. Equally important, however, is the acknowledgement of the many strides being made right now by young changemakers. Below are some important figures making history today.
- Amanda Gorman
An award-winning poet and Harvard graduate, Amanda Gorman was the youngest inaugural poet, performing at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration in 2020. Gorman’s poetry focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, and she dedicates her work toward speaking on important and pressing issues of today.
- Winter BreeAnne
Winter BreeAnne is a youth advocate and student who founded multiple organizations to enact social change. BreeAnne was a National Student Leader for WMYE (Women’s March Youth Empower) and founded Black is Lit and Power of Future Voters. BreeAnne’s work inspires youth to speak up on pressing issues and to get involved in social justice.
- Justin J. Pearson
Advocating for social justice in the deep south, Justin J. Pearson led one of the most impactful Black protests of recent years. Pearson, outraged with the Byhalia Connection Pipeline that risked the safety of drinking water for up to a million people, created Memphis Community Against the Pipeline, where he successfully canceled the harmful pipeline. Pearson’s efforts left a lasting impact as it is a powerful example of a successful protest led by young Black changemakers.
- Thandiwe Abdullah
Thandiwe Abdullah is a pivotal activist within BLM. She created BLM Youth Vanguard, which focuses on children within the movement. Abdullah successfully ended random searches in a Southern CA school district and is working to end racial discrimination in education.
- Zyahna Bryant
A student at the University of Virginia, Bryant is a student activist and community organizer who works on issues of racial justice in her hometown. Bryant’s most well-known effort was on her work to remove a Robert E Lee statue in Virginia. While faced with immense backlash from community members, Bryant successfully removed the statue. Her work to end racial discrimination in her hometown inspired young Black lives and urged her to continue advocating for racial justice.