Student activists make their voices heard

MaRaya White, In-Depth Editor

Student activism is something often seen in the media with students organizing protests and standing up for their rights. At Omaha North there are many students who often speak out for what they believe in although they might not always be on the forefront.

Desyree McGhee considers herself a student activist at North and in the community. She is involved in an organization called OPS Student Voice Council, OSVC, which is a leadership group that takes place at the TAC building with Shareef Liwaru who is the director of the office of equity and diversity.

“We problem solve about things we see in the hallway or things that we think our school is lacking. We talk with the Superintendent and make an action plan to bring back to school,” said McGhee.

McGhee has helped with the action walk at North which worked to get students registered to vote. She is also an active member of Student Council who are heavily involved at North High.

“We put on the [homecoming] dance, we sell T-shirts and basically does everything around the school that nobody else wants to do,” said McGhee.

McGhee feels like activism is important for a change to happen and wants to break the barriers which is why she helps the community.

“I don’t want to be a statistic and a stereotype,” said McGhee.

Activism can be defined in many ways but to McGhee activism is practicing what you preach.

“Effective activism is when you know you can do something and you’re actually putting effort and contributing to the cause, not just talking. Stop being all talk and be about your action,” said McGhee.

McGhee helps the community out of the kindness in her heart and just hopes to eventually make a change.

Another student activist at North is senior Sanjaya Bolton. Bolton is president of the Senior Class, National Society of Black Engineers, and Black Student Leadership Council. She is also involved in Urban League, National Honors Society, and Black Votes Matter.

“We are just trying to let people knows their votes matter and teaching people the importance of their history,” said Bolton.

Bolton feels like effective activism is education and listening. Many political leaders in history have stated education and listening to your opponent is the key to change and Bolton wants to further emphasize that statement.

“Having documentaries that educates about the history helps students understand better and I just want to be that person who can be outlook for people and educate them on their history while also listening to their views,” said Bolton.

Bolton is inspired by the fact she just wants to figure out people’s story and help them tell that story.

“Everybody has a story and we don’t know it. Everyone’s rights are important and sometimes in America that’s not showcased,” said Bolton.

In the end, Bolton just hopes to help at least one individual and make a difference in their life and work towards her goal of someday wanting to become president.

“I want to create a book that has more factual history and not just the white perspective, I want to have more of an outlook of what Black people and minorities in general created,” said Bolton.

All in all, student activists are all over America. They use their voices and knowledge to be courageous and stand up against, in often, the majority. Student activism is essentially effective and in the words of Mahatma Ghandi, ”You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.”