Genocide is a scary word. The attitude of the room darkens, the tone becomes heavy, and mouths draw into a straight line. So, when I tell my friends, who are also teens, that there is a current genocide against black people—my people—no one believes me. They don’t think that police brutality is as prominent, scary, real, as it actually is.

At 1,100 deaths a year, police brutality currently kills more black Americans than during the height of the South’s lynching period. But even when I communicated facts like this one, no one seemed to care. I was distraught. I didn’t know how to educate the people around me. And more significantly, I didn’t know how to stand against this genocide.

In 2017, I found an answer: The Women’s March.

I initially went to the Women’s March because I wanted to take a stand not only against the genocide of my people, but also for the other issues I cared about. But while I was there, I found so much more.

The Women’s March equipped me with the motivation, the inspiration, and the encouragement that I need in order to continue standing up for the issues I care about. It surrounded me with a group of like-minded individuals that made my opinions and concerns feel important, and heard. The group of people that have stood behind the generations of change in America.

The Women’s March isn’t a march. It’s a movement. And that movement helps you find your voice, your part in the fight for years to come.

Kaelyn Dunnell, attends St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano where she is the co-captain of the Debate and MUN teams and also a member of the school’s diversity group TIDE (Tartan Inclusivity and Diversity Education)

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