BLM: Aariyah

Although the summer was drier than we intended with our new-found enemy Covid-19, there were a few select students who made sure to soak up their summer. One particular Eaglecrest Senior was Aariyah Johnson. She spent her whole summer helping plan and organize protests in the image of the Black Lives Matter movement and in the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McClain. 


She, along with some other students, helped to plan many student-led protests held at Eaglecrest over the summer, with the biggest one attracting more than a hundred students. Johnson’s involvement with BLM started way back in 2016, and she stated that she’s always had a “passion for protesting, and up until this summer I hadn’t really planned one, but once I did I soon found out just how passionate I am.” With more recent events, including the amount of police brutality that we’ve seen in recent months, the killings of innocent african lives such as Breonna Taylor, and many more, Johnson felt as if she needed to be more active. 


“Our generation is the future and if we want change we have to become the change,” said Johnson, explaining why she supports BLM. This seems to be what many people say with the up and coming generations: that in order for there to be a change in the world, that change has to start with us. And Aariyah Johnson has already taken that first step. 


Additionally, in order for change to happen, we have to be able to sit down and have a conversation. As Johnson put it, “The conversation should not be white vs. black, but right vs. wrong”. It is also Johnson’s belief that protests are a way to bring attention to the world’s underlying issues and we’ve already seen justice served over the years due to people like Johnson who are willing to stand up for equality. Not only that, but she also believes that when you have something that you are passionate about that you should follow that passion because it might lead to great things.


“When planning protests, I feel nothing but passion and it’s that same passion that allows me to stay determined,” Johnson said. “That is why no one is going to stop me from standing on the right side of history.” Along with helping to organize protest over the summer, Johnson also helped organize and sign many petitions to help spread awareness. Because of Johnson’s involvement, she has even been interviewed by the Denver Post on the issue of BLM. 


“Although some people may see BLM as a trending topic, I don’t think it is. I think that people truly want to see change and that is why protests keep on happening,” Johnson said. “People are tired of being treated less than their equal and people know their worth and their rights, and they are going to keep on standing up until we see justice served for those who are in the wrong and are finally treated as the equals we were meant to be.” 


“There are always protests happening, and I encourage everyone to go to at least one,” Johnson said. “In terms of student lead protest though, I haven’t heard anything, but I’d love to plan one and bring our student body together.” Johnson also expressed that she feels as though she is “a part of something bigger than [herself]” in the aspect that she is helping to help shape a better society for future generations. 


All in all, with Johnson’s involvement in the BLM organization it is clear to see that she is an inspiration to others. With that Johnson has still been signing many petitions in order to seek justice for Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, George Floyd, and many many others who lost their lives in a tragic way. These petitions can be found on the website and Johnso encourages you to sign them because your signature along with your peers can help to shape the world into what we know will become a greater America.