WALLINGFORD, Conn. — Young people organized and led rallies against hate and discrimination in Glastonbury and Wallingford Saturday afternoon. The students said they want to be the change they want to see in the world. “Civic engagement in youth is the most vital and essential power that we have as the youth of the future we will be leading world one day,” said Dilawai Zrao, of Middletown.
The rally in Wallingford was held in the wake of deadly shootings in Atlanta, Georgia which killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. It was organized by Sheehan High School senior Amy Bui.
"My parents, they own their own small business, and it was heartbreaking to see how the shootings there happened, and it can happen anywhere, you know it's not impossible," she said.
She and her peers shared their own experiences with discrimination in their own communities.
"People would ask me if I could see through my eyes, people would ask me if I had their dog for dinner all that stuff," said Bui. "You never knew if it was a joke or racism. So, I think it's just important for other people to realize it is racism and not just a joke," she said.
"My dad owned a little business here and I was always scared that someone would come by and say something, and he always taught me to be really strong and hold my ground as South Asian woman especially," said Zrao.
In Glastonbury, a rally against racism was also led by young people. Students there also spoke on the importance of sharing their own experiences as a first step towards change.
"I think it's important to highlight that this happens everywhere, especially in suburban towns because a lot of these people are coming out of here, they grow up, they go out to the bigger broader world and they're perpetuating the same negative racist stereotypes," said Michael Oretade, president of BLM860.