Future 40: Zyahna Bryant Wants Social Justice For All

Future 40: Zyahna Bryant Wants Social Justice For All

The University of Virginia student has vowed to dedicate herself to activism and community organizing. She started the petition to remove Robert E. Lee's statue from Charlottesville.

Published March 19th

Ever since Zyahna Bryant organized her first demonstration, Justice for Trayvon Martin, at only 12 years old, her activism has been unstoppable. Using her voice to champion equality and justice, Bryant started the petition to remove Robert E. Lee's statue from Charlottesville, VA -- a historic move that famously irritated white supremacists.

Through online spaces, Bryant helps to improve the lives of Black people, matching her actions to her words. The 2018 Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement winner founded the Black Student Union at her high school. She was also appointed as a student school board representative for Charlottesville City Schools. 

Bryant, who has been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, and Forbes, is also a talented poet. In January 2019, she published "Reclaim: A Collection of Poetry and Essays." A percentage of her book sales was donated to the Charlottesville-area Black Mamas Bail Out, which is dedicated to freeing Black mothers from local jails around Mother's Day. 

Through her work, Bryant continues to recenter the narrative of equality while encouraging others to join in the fight: "I think there's room for everyone to join the fight for justice."

 

Written by BET Staff

Photo: Nay Nichelle

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