She expected only 15 people, hundreds, eventually signed up!
Sasha Ronaghi, 17- years old from California, is the brains behind the idea of initiating an anti-racism media club. She never expected that her idea would attract thousands.
She believed only 15 people might retort to her Instagram story! “I literally downloaded Instagram that day to post this Instagram story,” Sasha said in an interview to a private news agency.
The Californian teen posted an Instagram story, announcing a project and calling out for participants to join on May 31st. In a matter of just three weeks, the Anti-Racism Education Project now has more than 480 participants, 115 organizers from around 38 states as well as 16 countries- and the numbers are still growing!!
Ronaghi aims to build a community through the ARE project “to connect teenagers-young people in high schools and colleges-with resources about raising awareness for the Black community.”
She claimed that the idea about a separate anti-racism education club came to her from her observations regarding George Floyd’s assassination followed by the objections against police brutality and partiality against people of color.
She observed that the discussions about anti-racism have become more pervasive. She wished to take part in these conversations and advocate for what she believes in with the awareness she has about the issue.
Source- Marie Clairie
"I think as a non-Black person, it is my privilege that I don't have to think about anti-Blackness 24/7," Sasha stated. "So it was about finding a means to continually educate myself because I don't feel educated whatsoever."
Considering the amount of response she received online, a lot of teenagers feel the same way as Sasha does.
The club aspires to release educational content every month, either a movie, article, podcast, short story or any other relevant mediums. The club aims to build a platform where the lost voices of black people can be heard each month.
Ronaghi identified the three main reasons behind this huge turnout for the project: prevalent discussions about racism, pandemic restricting teens to their homes and the need for conversations.
Emmanuel Flores, the coordinator of the Zoom meeting, recognized that the immediate success of the projects is because of the “national spotlight on these issues” of rising racism and police brutalities against people of color.
"Seeing that this project is here to give a platform for Black artists of all media is really refreshing," Flores said.
Ronaghi intends that the participants will utilize this platform and “continue to advocate to spread awareness of their communities, and to step up in conversations."
"We're in this age where we might disagree with our parents, or we might disagree with influential members of our community," she said. "But we don't feel like we can say anything, and it's really about finding strategies to do so."