For most high schoolers, the end of the year means looking forward to a break from school and a chance to unwind. For five students from ETHS, the end of the year also means just a few more weeks to prepare for Y.O.U.'s biggest event of the year -- Diverse Communities United! DCU is a youth-led community event that gives over 200 young people from across Y.O.U. sites the chance to share their vision for realizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy of a peaceful, just and equitable world. We sat down with ETHS students Mina Jue and Nia Williams
-- members of the DCU Youth Committee -- to ask them what this year's DCU is all about and why they want you to be there.
Q: What role will you play at DCU this year as members of the youth-led DCU Committee?
A: We came up with the theme, we are interviewing community members to see how the theme relates to their life, and we're going on site visits to all the Y.O.U. sites to help them bring their pieces to the next level. At the event, we'll be emceeing and sharing our poetry! We are also promoting the event at ETHS and in the community to get people excited about coming!
Q: What inspired this year's theme--"I am deliberate and afraid of nothing"?
A: This year, we wanted to incorporate the female perspective of the civil rights movement on a day that typically features a male voice. We think that the poetry and work of Audre Lorde -- a black, female poet and member of the LGBTQ+ community -- connect to the work of Martin Luther King Jr. by supporting equity for all groups.
Q: What does "I am deliberate and afraid of nothing" mean to you?
A: This quote sparked a lot of discussion in our group. To me, it means that we are ready to take action instead of just reacting to inequities. As a black woman who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community, I feel like I am fighting for my people and I want it to have a positive impact. I am ready to have tough conversations about what it means to be a black, queer woman in today's society.
Q: What does it mean to honor MLK's legacy?
A: We think it's about something bigger than MLK -- it's more than just one person who did this. We think it is important to highlight other voices who made an impact during this movement. It's about everyone that struggles and fights for their rights. And MLK Day is a time to reflect on how far we've come and how far we still have to go. A day to think about how I can play a part in affecting change.
Q: What do you like about DCU?
A: I enjoy having the responsibility of planning and organizing the event. It is empowering to be able to build community.. DCU really brings everyone together, and it shows the community that young people do care and we are trying to affect positive change.
Q: What would you say to anyone thinking about coming to DCU?
A: You should definitely come! We as young people are putting this all together and we think everyone will learn a lot.