Last week, I interviewed Dom, a student at Zumix. I opened the conversation by asking Dom about his work at Zumix and how he got involved. Dom first joined because his father signed him up for classes, but since then, he has found a family at Zumix. Currently, Dom and his class are working on a compilation of street interviews from members of East Boston and youth activist about gentrification. HIs ultimate goal is to raise awareness about systemic gentrification in East Boston and to spread information about gentrification resources. Much like the guest speaker noted in our class last week, Dom pointed out that though many Latinos in East Boston are aware that many landlords are raising rent prices, there is little knowledge of resources and legal options to keep their homes. We also discussed the language barrier that prevents many families from seeking legal action, which he says makes displacement disproportionally worse for latinos in the area.
Though only 16, Dom had an extensive knowledge of gentrification and its detriments and injustice. He hopes to continue to work on the issue and hopes that stories like the ones he is collecting spread all over Boston–and to lawmakers who have the power to protect more East Bostonians through legislation.
My name is Tabia Smith, and I am I sophomore at Wellesley College. I am pursing a Media Arts and Sciences and Spanish double major. I am from Charlotte, North Carolina, and having attended a very conservative private school, activism and social issues were always an interest of mine. Even from a young age, it was easy to see the administration’s desire to stop any progressive efforts at our school (like having a GSA, a more gender equal dress code, etc). And being from the south, students were also conservative and often racist or ignorant about social justice issues. This motivated me to learn more about social issues and join my YMCA’s Youth and Government program. Now at Wellesley, I try to keep myself updated on current events, and I am a writer and talent on Wellesley’s satirical news show.
I find bouts of activism to be especially inspiring when they are started by children. Child activists make me forget my hopelessness or cynicism about the effectiveness of activism in our country, especially when the power of conservative, oppressive officials seems too powerful to challenge. They remind me that if people that young can do something, I most definitely can. I especially like the story of Little Miss Flint. An 8 year old from Flint, Michigan, Mari Copeny became the face of the Flint water crisis after writing a letter to President Obama requesting meeting to discuss the effects of the water crisis during her trip to D.C. Copeny’s work didn’t end with her meeting with Obama, since then, she has raised awareness of the water crisis on social media, organized toy drives, and even meet with Donald Trump.