Woodson Students Show Solidarity with BLM

Woodson students participate in BLM protest. Photo Courtesy of Carolyn Adkins.

Making her way through the crowd of eager teenagers and young adults, senior Carolyn Adkins watches as students line up to have their turn at voicing their opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement. With signs held over their heads pleading for justice and protestors scattered around the grass of the Old Town Square in Fairfax, a new generation makes its mark on history. 

While this movement has been going on for years, it has recently become a household topic. As more cases regarding police brutality emerged, the public found itself passionately enraged and in need of justice. Protests over George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others erupted all over the United States, including Fairfax. 

Adkins, a senior, felt it important to show her support by participating in a peaceful protest, one led by high school students. “It felt empowering to be there because we were all like-minded individuals who believed there needed to be a change in the system,” Adkins said. 

“This movement is more than just a movement, it’s a revolution, and we need as many people we can get to stay angry and stand up for all of these injustices.” 

Other students such as Sabrina Wang haven’t been able to attend these protests due to health and safety concerns. Nevertheless, her support is unwavering, and she hopes that the movement will continue to be more than just a trend. “We have to be aware and informed and genuinely concerned with issues like this,” the junior says. 

Ella Stamerra, a junior at Woodson High School, was one of the many students who turned to protests to do her part in standing with the black community. 

Stamerra participated in a peaceful protest outside the Fairfax County Government Center during a meeting regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. “We screamed as loud as we could so they could hear us,” the senior said. Later, Stamerra and her friends learned that their chants were heard loud and clear throughout the entire meeting.  “It really made us feel good even though there were so few of us,” she said. 

Other students have shown their support for the movement in different ways. 

“As the Black Lives Matter movement took over my social media, and looking at my own and others’ experiences in our community, I knew we couldn’t just let this moment slip away,” said senior Iraan Hemphill, who took part in leading the Woodson Runathon over the summer.

With over 300 people from all over the nation participating and 5216 miles logged, Hemphill and other students succeeded in showing solidarity with all those affected by the injustices towards the black community. Students such as Mira Markovich, Napat Juntima, and Christopher Nguyen completed over 50 miles, running and walking. 

The For the Culture Club president believes that Woodson as a whole has a duty to get educated, be more open-minded and make an effort wherever it may be possible.  “If we want to make change, it’s on all of us to make it happen,” Hemphill said.