Humans of MHS #6 - Racial Justice Alliance

2/2018

By Lila Markow

This month for the Humans of MHS column, the Solon Spectrum decided to interview two sophomores, MaryAnn Songhurst and Mandy Abu-Aziz about the Racial Justice Alliance.

*Note:  If you haven't yet read Humans of MHS #1, read it here!  It explains exactly what this column is and why it matters.

MaryAnn Songhurst

Tell us a little about yourself

I am a 15 year old sophomore attending high school at Montpelier High School. I enjoy dancing and listening to music in my free time. I also enjoy acting in community theatre and I am an employee at Shaws Supermarket.

What inspired you to join the racial justice alliance?

Being a black person in Vermont which is a mostly white community opened me up to a lot of day to day issues regarding my skin color as I have grown up. Finally I became tired of complaining about how people would treat me and I decided to join my schools Racial Justice Alliance club with the help of a friend, Hope.

What difference do you hope to make small or large?

I hope to change white people's implicit biases they have against my race and reduce the overall use of white fragility all so I can live a life where I don’t have to feel like I need to hide my skin color or my history.

What are some ideas that you have for the future of the racial justice alliance?

I hope that our club will lead many other schools and places to raise the blm flag loud and proud. I also hope that my club will be an example that even young people have voices that demand to be heard.

Do plan to continue fighting for justice after high school? in what way?

After high school I will never stop fighting for racial or socials justice because I believe that all people need to have their rights. I am looking to be someone who uses her knowledge to publicly speak on the uncomfortable racial and social topics and steps we can all make to make things better for our minorities.(black people)

Is there anything you have to say to the people of MHS?

People want to be heard and most of the time it is your job to listen.

Mandy Abu-Aziz

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a boy. My pronouns are he/him. I am a sophomore.

What inspired you to join the racial justice alliance?

I want to make a change, because there are too many stupid racists in this school.

What difference do you hope to make, small or large?

I want people to be more aware of the issue that are occuring in the world and specifically in this school.

Do you plan to continue fighting for justice after high school? In what way?

Yes, I definitely do that’s my goal, but I’m not sure in what way. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

Is there anything you have to say to the people of MHS?

Don’t be racist. Be nice.