Student Run Activism Instagram Accounts Bring Change to the District

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Sophia Luo and Grace Liu, Staff Writers

As you scroll through Instagram, you begin to notice that Instagram stories are filled less with pictures of friends, family, and fun events, but of links to petitions and other posts speaking on various issues. What’s going on, you think to yourself. What’s changed about the use of Instagram with young people?

Recently, the atmosphere surrounding many social media platforms has changed. Social media is increasingly being used to shed light on social justice topics, especially racial discrimination. Through Instagram stories, accounts, and posts, people are voicing their opinions. Students are especially active, creating accounts specific to their schools or districts to bring awareness to how these bigger issues are affecting minorities in their communities.  

One account that has been gaining lots of support from students is the Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) Chapter of the Grassroots Law Project (@grassrootslaw.auhsd) which began in mid-July. According to the main Grassroots Law Project (GLP) website that is not specific to AUHSD, “Grassroots Law Project bridges the gap between grassroots organizing and legal expertise in criminal justice reform by bringing millions of us together to address the most pressing and egregious failures of the system, hold powerful actors accountable, and advocate for deep structural change.” 

Miramonte sophomore Gemma Leach, the founder of the AUHSD chapter, has worked hard over the past months to create a platform that’s informative about racial injustice and activism in the district. “I think the general mindset around race needs to change in the AUHSD. A lot of students aren’t facing their privilege and racist incidents are too common. Our campaign is aimed to fix these issues with education, encouraging individual action, and rallying the students around the anti-racist cause,” Leach said. The AUHSD GLP account posts about Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) history that hasn’t been taught in the school curriculum, as well as art that can help raise awareness and support for artists of color. 

Another prominent account is the Diversity Alliance (@auhsddiversity). Their mission is to protect the initiatives, stories, and experiences of students in the AUHSD school community. “Equity work needs a permanent place in the school district. We feel that the current administration is only taking these initiatives due to outside pressure, when they should’ve been enacting these changes much earlier. There is a lot of racism which goes unnoticed in the current student climate and we hope to create a more inclusive environment where equality is a given,” a spokesperson for the account said. The Diversity Alliance’s Instagram posts informative slideshows about performative activism, slurs and their effects in schools, microaggressions, and how to contact AUHSD administrators to report incidents. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Welcome to our account! We are the AUHSD Diversity Alliance, and we’re here to support minority groups and their initiatives in our school district. Get ready for more posts!

A post shared by Diversity Alliance (@auhsddiversity) on

Diversify Our Narrative AUHSD (@diversifyournarriativeauhsd), another popular student-run Instagram account, is taking their fight to the classroom and calling for reform in the district’s language arts curriculum. This account is a chapter specific to the AUHSD school district, but is part of a bigger movement under the account @diversifyyournarrative. 

“The administration is failing to pause and listen to its students, especially its BIPOC student body. The district, in response to recent events and complaints, has taken a few steps towards racial equity. Yet, unfortunately, so far that’s all it has been – a few small steps,” a representative from the AUHSD chapter said. 

“Student activism is beyond imperative. This generation is filled with our world’s next teachers, health care workers, lawyers, judges, actors, actresses, political figures and the list goes on. Educating our students is one of the first steps we must take to ensure a better future,” a representative from the AUHSD chapter said. “The youth of our society have so much more power than they may be aware of. Every individual has the ability to make change. It all just begins with someone taking a stand, someone speaking their truth against all odds and opposition. At the end of the day the ability to do good in spite of the appalling circumstance in one’s community, exists in everyone.” 

The next time you scroll through Instagram, maybe you’ll take a closer look at what other people have been posting.