Stepping Up: The Social Justice Activist

– I guess activism was like my way to connect back to my identity. (piano music) My name is Naudika Williams. I’m seventeen years old. Right now, I’m about to
graduate from Oakland High. At the start of my life, I was in Oakland and then it got too
expensive for my mother and we moved in with my
grandmother in Pacifica. It was hard. I was like one of the poor
black kids living with a bunch of like wealthy
white kids in the community. Not a lot of people understood like the struggles that I was going through. So I moved back to Oakland a
little after seventh grade. I had a huge culture shock
because I went from Pacifica it was like really affluent,
white, not really diverse and I came to Oakland and I
saw all these people of color people speaking different languages like different foods right
and I was completely shocked and I also started to learn that school is not set up for everyone to succeed. In Pacifica, everyone believed in me. Like everyone knew they
were gonna go to college. Everyone knew they were gonna graduate. It seemed like a given. You didn’t really have to
think about graduation. I remember coming to Oakland. A lot of students were like oh
we’re gonna drop out anyways. We’re not gonna make it or
teachers telling me that I’m gonna be the one who graduates, right. I’m one of the few who’s
gonna graduate in this class right and then just tosses
aside the rest of the other kids as I can’t help them anymore. In Oakland, I actually started to talk to other like black folks which I didn’t have a chance to really do when I was growing up. I was trying to like find
myself as a mixed black person. So I was looking into Malcolm X. I was looking into Martin Luther King cause that’s literally all
I knew about black culture. So when I started Oakland
High we had a club fair and Californians for Justice
was handing out popsicles and I really wanted a popsicle and so I went, they talked about it. They’re like we do racial
and educational justice. We talk about racism and
sexism and I’m like cool things that impact me and
that I want to learn about. I started to learn about the
school to prison pipeline. I learned about colorism. I learned about racism
and how it’s a system. It was really my start in organizing and I remember one of the biggest pushes was a student voice campaign. At the state board of education,
we were like chanting. Students had numbers and they
would hold it up to their face to show that students feel like
they’ve been seen as numbers and not actually as you know people. I’ve probably ran into like
pushback from all adults from my mom to teachers to like adults I just talk to randomly. Here I am as a young person and I’m saying a lot of radical things and they’re like oh you’re just brainwashed, that’s it. You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m a debater, so I kind of like it. It kind of fun when you
get to challenge people. You clash with them on perspectives and while my views change I can also change others’ views as well. (piano music)

  1. Surprise,
    You are on “NETWORK TELEVIZE”,
    Your video was selected as the video of the hour…

  2. AMERICAN Blacks are so caught up into this stuff. While Asians leave them in the dust of achievement.. its addictive being a victim to these activist. They luv those non existent chains.

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