Student Opportunity: We Have a Dream Teens

A+We+Have+a+Dream+Teen+member+at+the+%22Chalk+Out+Walk+Out%22+event.

Courtesy of WHADT

A We Have a Dream Teen member at the “Chalk Out Walk Out” event.

A. Guo, Editor-in-Chief

Teens have been using their voices throughout the last few months for the Black Lives Matter movement with hashtag floods and protests. Now, in Cary, North Carolina, it seems that teens are taking matters into their own hands as well.

Jayla Walker, a junior at Panther Creek High School, co-founded We Have a Dream Teens with Caroline DeMaayer, a junior at Green Hope High School, and is currently one of the co-presidents of the club. She says the club’s mission is to, “unite teens in the area and work together to bring awareness and information to the table about subjects and topics that need to be talked about,” with an emphasis on racial justice.

The name of the club was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech and wish for the future, which still has not been reached to this day. On instagram, the organization clearly states, “We have a dream that teens across the Triangle will create real structural change; That politicians, sheriffs, and judges will hear our voices; That the words ‘liberty and justice for all’ will be true for all.”

WHADT was created after the murder of George Floyd, and has done a number of social justice projects since. 

Michael Sanda, a sophomore at Green Hope High School and the Co-President of WHADT, says his favorite project was one of the club’s first social events, called the “Chalk Out, Walk Out” event at Bond Park. “We made murals and biographies of many victims of police brutality and placed them on posters. We added petitions links via QR codes on the posters and hung them around the park,” he said. Members also drew statistics and messages with chalk onto the sidewalks. Walker explained that, “the purpose of the chalk out was to be a ‘memorial’ for black victims of police brutality. The work was well received, as Kassade Edwards, an arts leader within the organization recounts, “As we were drawing, there were people in the park literally applauding us. Some parents stopped and explained what we were doing to their younger children.” Sanda adds, “It’s so easy to ignore the plight of Black and Brown populations in the suburbs, but bringing attention to issues is essential for popular support.”

The club has also hosted bake sales with money going to the Okra Project; used social media to have members express their own thoughts on current issues through creative projects; and created informational graphics, discussions, and posts both within their club and on their platforms. 

“We have a tight-knit group of advocates who all share a common goal of liberation and equality,” Sanda expresses. 

And now you can join, with the sign up on their instagram @wehaveadreamteens
Walker sums it up, “Follow us on social media, stay aware, stay active, and help spread awareness as well as make sure you’re up to date on current issues and are finding out ways to help! The change starts with you.”