COMMUNITY VOICES: DESTINY ADEBONOJO

Community Voices

Destiny Adebonojo is a high school activist. We first met Destiny at the 2018 Teen Vogue Summit in NYC which she won tickets to through their essay contest. Here are her words:

Raise your hand if you know anything about Royersford Pennsylvania. I can’t see you, but, I’m betting anyway. None of you have your hands raised. That’s alright, I didn’t know that Royersford Pennsylvania was a small town thirty minutes outside of Philadelphia until I lived here either. If you’ve already pictured a small town, riddled with racist micro aggressions, ill attitudes toward anyone who does not fit the binary straight/male/female standards, and overt xenophobia ideals, congratulations my friend. You are most certainly correct. And now, you are may be suspecting some marginalized person to share a story of discontent that leads to a feeling of cathartic moral responsibility. Smart guess, but you’re actually wrong on that one.

I’ve got a page limit and that sob story would be too long. So, I’ll get to the point. We all have something to contribute. Some groups have more privilege than others, but together we all have work to do. As a Black female, I’ve seen myself, and others like me self-handicap. So this is not going to be a blame game. I need to get to work. You need to get to work. When you see injustice, speak up, stand out, and be that change you want to see. My school, mostly white, is notorious for its harsh words, that break down anyone who is just a little different. Sadly, I too have often been scared into silence. But I urge you to USE YOUR PRIVILEGE, because nothing has ever been changed by those who keep quiet.

When you see that Black kid being stereotyped, or called that infamous word, speak out. I’m talking to you, White people. When you see that gay person being otherized, speak out. I’m talking to you straight and binary people. When a girl is being treated as less than the queen she is, speak out. I’m talking to you males. I’m sure you get it by now. Energy clings: bad energy brings us all down. Good energy lifts us all up, It’s science people.