Today we’re featuring an excerpt from Janiya, a high school student who recently earned her 306 – African American History certification. Janiya reflects on how the themes of inequity and perseverance presented within 306 are tied to her personal experiences now. Congratulations to Janiya for being one of our scholarship recipients!
Teacher: Ms. Davis
School: White Station High School
“As I completed the Civil Rights Movement lesson of 306 – African American History and learned about historic cases such as Brown vs. Board and the courageous actions of Ruby Bridges, I thought about myself and the thousands of other black youth who are constantly living the same reality of separate and unequal schools. The right to quality education no matter your race, class, or zip code has become a fight that is worth the battle every day.
My frustration and passion fueled into a cause. The blatant injustice of educational disparities among youth in my city contributes to generational poverty and limits opportunity for all. Through my life experiences and work as a community-organizer on educational justice, I have clearly identified how identities play a role in the privileges of education in America. I have realized it is my purpose in life to ensure every youth has access to the right of quality education in our country.
Those most affected by the problem should always be a part of the solution. In the case of education, youth are most affected by the American public school system yet our voices are never acknowledged. Youth have always been the foundation and driving principle of change throughout every movement in history. 306 was most inspiring for me when I learned about the youth of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Seeing black youth lead the Civil Rights Movement of America was such a reassurance in my passion and work ethic towards equity.
Most importantly, 306 taught me the importance of continuing the legacies of activism that African-American leaders have set before for me. While taking this EVERFI course, I have appreciated the life lessons and hidden history I have learned of my culture and our journey that is not fully taught throughout American education curriculum. As I embark on this journey of higher education, I plan to be a vital part of this movement towards equity and become a beacon for those most vulnerable in our country.”