Tay Anderson, 20, is running for the Denver Public Schools board election in 2019 because he wants to improve safety in schools. A student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, he is taking a …
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Tay Anderson, 20, is running for the Denver Public Schools board election in 2019 because he wants to improve safety in schools. A student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, he is taking a gap year to focus on his campaign. He first ran for school board in 2017 when he was a senior in high school, but lost. Because of family issues, he spent about eight months in foster care when he was 16. His activism began in 2015 when he attended a protest against police brutality. Today, he works to create justice and equal opportunity for people of color.
“I think we come with a unique experience because a lot of people think that we are still clinging onto the past, and we're not clinging onto the past — we're just trying to rectify the wrongs of the past. When Colin Kaepernick takes a knee, he's not taking a knee to say that this is for Martin Luther King. He's saying that this is for every unarmed black man that's been shot in the 21st century, for kids that are still living in poverty, for young people that aren't allowed to have a voice. It's also been used against me. I've had people tell me that because of the color of my skin, I won't be able to win a citywide race. I just get to prove them wrong in November. I mean, I might be black, but my blackness doesn't define where it's going to take me in the future.
“My activism started on July 5th, actually my birthday, in 2015 when Alton Sterling was killed, because I'd had enough of waking up to the news that another unarmed black person was killed by people that we trust to protect us. Trayvon Martin could have been me. Eric Garner could have been me. Philando Castile could have been me. All of these other African-American males that have been killed at the hands of law enforcement could have been me ... I just got tired of injustice."
“A lot of people think that I want to be president — which is cool and I would love to do that — but I want to help my city before I try to go save the world. So that's why I'm running for the Denver school board. My city desperately needs some young perspective on the board of education. They need somebody who knows what it means to sit in those seats and what it means to have failed policies used against them. Before we can go change the world and worry about what's happening in D.C., we have to fix our cities ..."
“My work has never been about me, it's never going to be about me. It's about making sure that the next person who looks like me, who has a funny name like me — my real name isn't Tay, its Auontai — who have these different, unique characteristics just like myself understand that they, too, have a place in the world.
“It's time for us to stand up, to understand what we're inheriting — because we can either inherit a system that we helped craft or we can inherit a system we're forced to recreate.”
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