A Millennial Civil Revolution

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.broadhavenassociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/SharonMwale_HeadShot.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Sharon Mwale – Healthcare Analyst[/author_info] [/author]

#BlackLivesMatter

For so long I have stayed silent on the issues that surround me, my family, my friends, and the black community of which I am a part. For so long I have scrolled down my timeline, silently reading and agreeing (sometimes disagreeing) with those whom have posted an article, made a comment, taken a stance. For so long I’ve lived in a country where the color of my skin—not my personality, intelligence, or deeds—has been the dictator of first impressions and my potential as a woman. For so long…

But not today. Today, I speak my piece to the world and say that I am tired. WE are tired. Tired of being told that Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Kalief Browder, are isolated incidents. Tired of being accused of pulling the “race card.” Tired of being victimized, blamed for reacting to the injustices that we face each day. But, most of all, tired of a system that was built to escape persecution, but only to persecuted those that did not fit within a strict construct. 

#BlackLivesMatter is not a movement that contends other lives don’t matter. In the wake of the shooting in South Carolina, if you would dare make the claim that this has “nothing to do with race,” do not pretend to be an associate of mine. Do not pretend to care about my life if you are not enraged that I could lose it because of the color of my skin. Do not mistake yourself as my ally if you refuse to acknowledge the battle I face, the battle my family, my friends, my community faces!

Photo: Columbia Journalism Review

I wrote #BlackLivesMatter after the South Carolina massacre of nine church members in their bible study meeting. It was the result of accumulated frustration I felt with myself for never speaking up, and with the increasing videos of shootings targeting boys and men who could be my brother, and subsequent dismissal of criminal charges against perpetrators. As a black woman growing up in the United States, I’ve always been acutely aware of my status as a double minority citizen, but with the ever-growing presence of the internet in my everyday, it has become a glaring truth of my existence.

Black Americans have made great strides since Jim Crow laws were officially voided in the 1960’s. The greatest example is the ascent of a Barack Obama, a black man to the most powerful position in the world, President of the United States. And in many other regards, black Americans continue to make great strides, graduating, teaching, and leading at top-tier universities, serving as executives at Fortune 500 companies. There is, however, no denying that there are still many firsts yet to be achieved by black Americans.

Disadvantages work against black Americans at every step in our lives, and we continuously feel the need to prove our worth and competency—a challenge our white counterparts do not face, are not asked to prove. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released data in 2014 that showed 25% of schools with the highest percentage of black and Latino students did not offer Algebra II, and 33% of these schools did not offer different levels of chemistry. Education is the foundation of all children, and is only one marker that shows the stark difference in opportunity students of color are afforded compared to their white peers.

In the past six months, I’ve witnessed and been a part of two activist movements at two institutions in two cities that I call home; Yale University in New Haven and the University of Illinois in Chicago. My generation is taking up arms. We are speaking out against decades of micro-aggressions and biases imposed on the black community. Transparency via the internet has awoken many leaders to the issues facing black Americans, but the time has come for a second Civil Rights movement lead millenials to fight for equal and equitable treatment of black Americans.

Results or Excuses

  Results or excuses, choose one! Success is defined by results and destroyed by excuses. It is a fundamental part of human nature to be driven by wants and fears. This drive is manifested in each of us by our personal goals that subjectively define success or fear of failure to each of us in… Continue Reading

In Pursuit of Happiness

  What would you do if tomorrow you were offered one-way tickets and immediate citizenship for your entire family to a country of your choice? With all the talk of election promises – or maybe you prefer ‘commitments’ – and perceptions of the cost to the country overall, many of us would perhaps flee out… Continue Reading

Haiti: 23-29 MAY 2016

Shash Haiti Service Tour 2016 Volunteer & Discover Haiti Port-au-Prince & Jeremie, Haiti 23-29 May 2016 School Marion PS, Corail, Grande Anse:  Principal –  Waldinor Placide, VP – Samuel Victor Tel: +(509) 3781-7814       I E-mail:   MONDAY 23 May 2016 Arrival to Haiti, Port Au Prince DAY 1: Travel: AA 837 Dep NY JFK 8:55am                 … Continue Reading

Ethiopia: 6-13 SEP 2016

7 DAY ETHIOPIA TOUR 6-13 Sep 2016   7-DAY PKG 4-DAY PKG 14-DAY PKG 6-13 SEP 9-13 SEP 6-20 DEP $1500 $450 $2000 Itinerary Day-1 Arrival & city tour of Addis Ababa Arrive in Addis Ababa. Arrive in Addis, meet me on the airport, and transfer to your hotel. If you come at 7:00AM, you will have… Continue Reading

Uganda: 23 – 30 AUG 2016

Itinerary for ShashUGX Service Tour 2016 Day 1     Arrive in EBB Stay at Entebbe Airport Guest House (Clean rooms self-contained rooms). Meal plan: Dinner Explore Entebbe. Visit Andorita Beach, View Lake Victoria from the beachy shores. Find monkeys and birds at the National Botanical Gardens.  If you are not doing a safari, visit the Entebbe zoo to find… Continue Reading

Jamaica: 3-10 JUL 2016

Shashamane Jamaica Volunteer Service Tours 3-10 JUL 2016   ShashJAM Director: Edgar Lewis ShashJAM Station Chief: Edgar Lewis: Tel: +1.876.441-6879                 I               e-mail:edgar@shashamanesunrise.org ShashJAM Contacts: Christopher “Mr Chin” Love (Logistics) – Tel: +1.876.403-7833 Nicola Hussey: Tel: +1.876.396-6995              I               e-mail:nicola@shashamanesunrise.org Shamecia Ritchie: +1.876.350-3709                I               e-mail:shamecia@shashamanesunrise.org   School: Windsor Forest Primary School, Portland, Jamaica Principal –  Mrs… Continue Reading

School Report: JRDC, Ethiopia

JRDC School, Shashamane, Ethiopia Annual Report 2014 – 2015   Program Overview The school year 2014/15 has been a year of successes. The school administration started off the with vigor and faith. We were able to accomplish the plans within the parameters envisioned. Education plays a vital role in alleviating poverty, improving social welfare, and… Continue Reading

Eyalama Noi – My Uganda Experience

By Dr Sanneta Myrie, Miss Jamaica World 2015 25 March 2016 Bright-eyed, the students at St. Theresa Ngora-Okoboi Primary School gave us a grand welcome. The head girl led them gleefully in a welcome song that contained the familiar Swahili phrase, “Hakuna Matata.” We all joined in and then made our way to the partially roofed… Continue Reading

website made by The Design Creative