Color Youth Advocacy Day 349.AnnieDear Friends and Allies,

At our kick-off of Youth Advocacy Day 2019, Sec. Hunter of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) addressed a room full of passionate advocates by saying, “You are the most important voice in Olympia.” And, wow, was he right!

 

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Power of One 
Avrey Tuttle

 If you have ever been to Kirkland, you probably know how much of a suburban cliché it is. It has Teslas, Range Rovers and well-kept green grass surrounded by, you guessed it, white picket fences. You’ve also probably noticed the community is predominantly white. Growing up as an African American female in a transracial adoption was difficult, especially in Kirkland. The word “poor” had a different meaning in Kirkland — “poor” meant middle class. Growing up, my family was a little above middle class so we were more than comfortable. That meant my mom could dress me in the latest fashion trends, regardless of the price. But I still felt like I didn’t fit in, no matter what I wore. I didn’t know if I was white or black. I felt like I had to choose. Many mixed-race youth in trans-racial adoptions grow up with serious identity issues that follow them into adulthood. This is something I’m still struggling with.

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Brianna Franco


The closer a high school student is to senior year, the more they are asked what college do you want to go to? My mom didn’t make it to college and my dad attended a university for only one quarter. In my biological family, this pressure to achieve higher education was ingrained in me because out of all my siblings, I was the only one who cared about doing well in school. When I entered foster care, my education became the only thing I felt in control of

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Orion Olsen

On January 23, 2019, the federal Department of Health and Human Services gave a waiver to a Christianbased foster care licensing organization to openly discriminate against Jewish adoptive parents. Shortly after Trump stated his support for this, an effort was made through a budget bill to expand allowing discrimination based on faith.

 

 

 

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Julio Bernarddude


I have been struggling with homelessness since I was twelve, and I am 22 now. The first time I became homeless, it was because one of my mom’s relationships didn’t work out for her. She had moved our family to Mexico when her boyfriend got deported. Shortly after the move, he became abusive. When we moved back to Washington, stepping off the Greyhound in Olympia, we had nowhere to live. We struggled for a long time and had no choice but to live at the Salvation Army in the family shelter program. But eventually my mom got an apartment. Even then, I continued to struggle with being homeless countless times.

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Kennysha Johnson


My circumstances make my chances of getting a job very slim. Since my high school graduation, I have not found a job opportunity that works for me. My dream job is to just have a job that provides me an opportunity and does not discriminate.

 

 

 

 

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By Devan Morton

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Farid Rasuli

The bombing of a Norwegian government building in 2011 in the heart of Oslo, followed by a massacre in the country’s Labor party youth summer camp, which claimed 80 lives, was executed by a neoNazi who wanted to “prevent [the] invasion of Muslims.” In 2015, nine people were shot in a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina by a 21-year old white supremacist.

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By Nerissa Tidmore