AnneMarie, (She/Her)
Organizer- Nutley for Black Lives

Transcript- Becoming an Activist

Me standing on the art museum steps in Philly with the microphone and I was reading out all the names that had been murdered by police. And when I posted that obviously it wasn't for the intent like to show off. I wasn't trying to be show off. Yeah, I was just, you know, hey, this is what I'm doing. And a lot of people were like, ‘Wow, you are a leader like this is phenomenal. This is amazing’.

 

But I didn't consider myself an activist because I didn't feel like I was changing anything I was participating, but I wasn't actively changing anything I was supporting on my social media and I was going to protest but there was nothing that I was really pushing for.

 

I went to the protests in Philly. And then when I got home, I went to a local protests in Nutley and that's when the group, Nutley for Black Lives, which was made up of entirely…. It was allies. It was a bunch of kids from my high school who were all white, but they were supporting the cause in the right ways they weren't being. It didn't have like a tone of being a white savior. It wasn't anything like that. It was very much so we're keeping this on the low because we know we're not the right people to really raise our voices about it. So they asked me, basically, they were like, ‘look, we need representation and we need a voice. So would you be a part of this organization with us?’  And I said, ‘Absolutely 100%’

 

So when I started getting involved more heavily with Nutley for black lives and consider myself now to be one of three chairs of the organization is now when I'm meeting with the school superintendent meeting with the principal, the director of the history program for K through 12 ,the English department. and that's why I'm really finding that I'm actually changing something.

 

So I guess the end of August ish is when we really sat down and we're like, okay, what are our goals because, you know a lot of people want to get involved with something because it's hot in the moment and it's there and it looks like the right thing to do. So we obviously we want to take it further. Like I said, and we wanted to really make change. We didn't just want to put on a show, because ultimately we can protest so many times. We can stand in the streets so many times, but what is being done to change it. This is not performative. This is actual change that we're trying to do in our small town. And that's really where it counts..

 

We’ve seen steps forward with the curriculum. Luckily. Actually my history teacher. He was my AP US history teacher) and when we brought these issues to his attention. He was like, I'm going to fix this and you're going to see change. So recently we met up with them all together, and he was the only one to give change that was actually substantial and what we were asking for basically. And I was like ‘YES! That’s a breakthrough! That’s what we’re looking for!’

Transcript- Finding Your Passion

For me, personally, I'm looking to be an attorney and looking to be aware and a lot of the issues that I find myself really interested in our mass incarceration and just wrongful accusations… So I'm that is usually where my passion lies and with what has been really sparked in the media with police brutality, I found a link between that. So because I found that link it ignited like a little passion for me.

 

You know what it has made me realize that it's going to be very hard. You know, just because I have a clear vision of how I want things to be that does not mean that it is going to end up that way and, honestly, as an attorney you are very limited in really what you can do because of the parameters of the law simply just how is written. So that is has been something that I've had to face were some days that would make me think, do I really want to do this?! This is not going to be easy!!  Just because I know it's what I want to do. Um, but it's still what I want to do. I'm still here studying..

Transcript- On Relationships

I feel like you can't have activism, as well as you need to be vocal it's very easy for someone to support a cause or have an opinion in private or amongst people who will always agree with you. When you put yourself on a platform like social media or literally going to protests and things like that and being vocal in different types of groups… That I feel like is what will really start you off with activism, because you'll face different opinions, you'll face people who don't agree with you. And you'll be forced to have these conversations that may cause you to lose relationships and you have to be able to put yourself out there and be comfortable with being in that situation.

AnneMarie- On Relationships