Newly-Founded Student Advocacy Coalition Focuses on Social Justice Issues

Racial and cultural injustices have been a fundamental part of the U.S. since its founding. In recent years, society has shifted to be more inclusive towards people of all backgrounds and to promote equality like never before, yet there is a significant lack of information on these topics taught in American schools. With the Black Lives Matter movement gaining more support each day, rising senior Zaria Osimetha decided that enough is enough and founded the Student Advocacy Coalition (SAC) to spread awareness and educate high school students about racial injustice. 

“After the murder of George Floyd, I was just at a loss of what to do,” Osimetha said. 

“I realized that there was a deficit in Dallas. There was no program where students of all backgrounds could really learn about what has caused certain injustices and what we can do as the next generation to help. My goal is to educate students and teach them how to be an ally.” 

“I want to see people have more of an open mind.”

Zaria Osimetha

In keeping with their mission to educate the students of Dallas, SAC has been hosting monthly meetings for members via Zoom that touch upon different social issues each month. The executive board and ambassadors have also been hosting community forums each month for both members and non-members to allow for open discussions on race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and more. 

“We just need to spread awareness within our communities,” ambassador and rising senior Genevieve Minnis said. “A lot of people aren’t getting exposed to the information they’re looking for surrounding these topics, so I think it’s really important that we’re helping to teach the information that we students need about racial and cultural issues that we haven’t been learning in school.” 

SAC aims to be a catalyst for change through education and action. Their goal is not only to teach its members about issues like Black Lives Matter, the immigration crisis or the mistreatment of the LGBTQ+ community, but also to guide those involved on how they can make an impact through acting on their beliefs and spreading awareness of the issues. 

“I want to see people have more of an open mind,” Osimetha said. “I want people to understand that not only do we have the power to change the world but that the information needed to do so is at our fingertips. I want students to take the initiative to learn more and try to create a more equal and open environment in our country.” 

Shaye Wattson begins her senior year at Highland Park High School in August.

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Shaye Wattson

Shaye Wattson began her senior year at Highland Park High School in August and returned to campus on Sept. 9.

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