I was Anne Frank’s age when I read her diary. I’ll never forget the horror of learning about the Holocaust and the crimes committed against humanity. I remember thinking, “How could that have ever happened?”

I was Oscar Grant’s age when I taught 8th grade in Cincinnati. I remember when Trayvon Martin was shot and thought, “That could have been one of my students.”

I am barely older than Breonna Taylor was when she was ruthlessly murdered in her sleep, without any justice, and all I can think about is, “Have we forgot what humanity is?”

What the privilege, years and opportunity in my life has given me is a platform to communicate with a diversity of my family and friends who aren’t in marginalized communities and I urge you more than anyone to speak up and fight for what is right.

I have colleagues, classmates, friends and former students who aren’t safe to sleep in their own homes because of the color of their skin and because the U.S. Constitution doesn’t protect everyone equally.

Whether you are impacted by Donald Trump’s policies or not, there are thousands of individuals at risk for losing their lives in the same unlawful manner that Anne Frank, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor and many others did.

Beyond wildfires, COVID-19 and a contentious political election, we cannot let what we see become the norm.

Elie Wiesel said that “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

This is the time to say that Black Lives Matter. This is the time to vote, to hold each other accountable and to take a side.



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Dev A.

Dev A.


she/her | student. teacher. sustainable supply chain & social justice advocate.