CFJ’s Young Women of Color Are Bold For Change

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Today we celebrate powerful Californians for Justice women leaders. 

 

Diana Cruz, 11th grader at Ernest McBride High School

Kweko Power, 10th grader at Oakland High School

What kind of message does this administration send to women, specifically young women of color?

This administration does not represent us. As such, it sends the message to young women of color that we should continue to resist. We must continue to raise our voices and advocate for our communities. We must continue to build relationships with one another, especially in our schools. 

As a young Brown woman, what are you doing to be a leader in your community?

One of my bigger roles as a leader is my involvement in CFJ. I have the opportunity to talk at school board meetings about the issues affecting my community and my school. I want my school and teachers to have the resources they need to show every young person in school that they have someone that cares. I mentor new CFJ leaders in hopes that they too will find their voice like I did. My involvement in CFJ is rewarding because I feel like I am representing my peers and offering my perspective as a woman of color.

What can adults do to help young women of color?

Adults have to show that they are not in favor of any of these exclusionary and sexist policies. But it doesn’t stop there. They have to take the necessary steps to make their own community a better place; especially so that our communities don’t feel attacked by their government.

What are your hopes for the next 4 years?

I really hope that more people take ownership of their social responsibility and frequently ask themselves “What can I do about it?” Eventually, I hope that this will help more people join the resistance. For our political climate, I hope to see an increase of women of color taking the initiative to fill these political positions – I know I am.

Why is woman of color leadership needed?

We need to show generations to come that we can achieve our dreams and our goals; that we can succeed in life. This is especially important when you see the disadvantages we face. It’s just powerful to see women of color in leadership because they’ve risen up. They show me that I can overcome.

As a Black immigrant, how does Trump’s policies on immigration impact you and your family?

With these stricter laws, I know that a lot of my friends wouldn’t be here. And that makes me think – I could have been torn away from my loved ones and never see them again. It’s upsetting because this fear is a reality for other folks affected by Trump’s policies. Students in our schools are frustrated and scared– sometimes adults just don’t know what to say. These policies only make me wonder: what would happen if we were open about our borders? I have one response: society would be better because our culture, customs, and love would be shared.

 

What are your hopes for the next 4 years?

This presidency’s hate will bring us closer to fighting & ending racism, especially in our classrooms. What does it mean for us to take care of one another and help each other feel safe?  I hope that this will spark more conversations about safety & privilege. We have to combat it together because history has shown us that sweeping it under the rug is not the solution.

What are you doing now to make this a reality?

I actively find projects and resources that are out there that are working towards justice. I am involved in CFJ and we have our Believe In Me campaign, which advocates for relationship-centered schools. We are asking people to sign pledges to build relationships, not walls. It’ll bring staff and students closer, which is just what we need to end racism and bias in our schools.