In the Northwest Community, we have so many amazing students who don’t all get recognized for their hard work. Dayanara A ‘23 is a huge activist, both outside and inside of the Northwest community. Dayanara hasn’t even attended Northwest for two full years, yet she has already done so much here. Dayanara has played volleyball for two seasons, been a part of Northwest’s play production and attended affinity groups in our community, such as BSU ( Black Student Union) and LAU ( Latin American Union).
Those specific examples were strictly within Northwest, but she does even more outside of school. I had the chance to talk with Dayanara about some of her activism. Dayanara started a podcast with her friend from middle school called EmpoweringOurMelanin. “Through our podcast we try to create a space to empower other BIPOCs like us,” Dayanara says. “We use our platform to talk about Social Justice topics that affect our communities.”
Dayanara shared how they got the idea for EmpoweringOurMelanin.“I started EmpoweringOurMelanin with my friend last summer. We went on an instagram live on our personal accounts to talk about the recent Black Lives Matter protests. At this point we had no intention of starting EmpoweringOurMelanin. We just wanted to talk about what was happening. It wasn’t till after that live stream that we really realized how much we needed that. So, we started EmpoweringOurMelanin, the podcast came later after we started our account. The goal of our podcast is ‘Uplifting and empowering BIPOCs.’ We hope that by speaking out we inspire others to do the same.” Please take the time to listen to EmpoweringOurMelanin using this link : https://anchor.fm/empoweringourmelanin
Along with the podcast, Dayanara also works for a blog called South End Stories. The South End Stories Youth Blog is run by a local Nonprofit called South End Stories. They are focused on education and arts in the South Seattle and greater King County Area. For this blog, Dayanara has written pieces about the 2020 election, the intersection between art and social movements and much more. “Most of what I’ve written touches on my experiences as a young Afro-Latina,” says Dayanara.
Dayanara shares why she thinks activism is important, saying, “If we don’t fight for ourselves and what we deserve, no one else will. It’s important to make the needs and voices of marginalized communities heard.” Activism is a way to fight against systemic oppression and important issues. You have a voice, so use it to stand up for what’s right. “There are tons of ways to become a better activist,” says Dayanara. “It can be from bringing awareness to issues you care about. Or educating yourself on issues you don’t know much on. Don’t be silent just because an issue makes you uncomfortable. Use your voice and encourage others to do the same.”