Youth Demand Permanent Change in Omaha Public Schools


July 14th, 2020

“What youth can” do protest, Central High School lawns.
Photo by, Gabriel Escalera, KVNO

OMAHA – A new generation of young activists is showing that many teens are very concerned about social and political issues, and they are fully ready to do something about it.

Last week a group of young people primarily graduates from Central high school in Omaha, organized a protest called “What Youth can do.”

“Our voice does matter, we are the future of the world and it is important that people listen to us because a lot of times it is us that go through the injustices in the school system, especially black people,” Makhi Mitchell, said. 

One of the main speakers at the protest is Mitchell, an 18-year-old graduate from Central High School. He spoke in the Central High School’s lawns in Downtown and demanded Omaha Public Schools to end contracts with the Omaha Police Department. Mitchell wants schools to provide their own security system.

He believes that after decades of protests, this year has been one of the best in the fight against racism and injustice for black people.

“I did state that this was the best year, back in 1960, there were black people not many white people protesting, this time around we have everybody put there protesting, all races, all genders, everybody is out here trying to fight for justice,” Mitchell, said.

Mitchell thinks this country is going through a social and political crisis, and you cannot complain about the people running the country if you are not going out to vote.

“Voting is a form of expression. You have to express yourself to these issues going on and right now we need everybody to get out and vote, it is so important to vote.”

Hundreds gathered for a peaceful protest in front of Central High School.
Photo by, Gabriel Escalera, KVNO

Other petitions from students involve that schools need to focus on prevention more than reaction when it comes to social problems. The curriculum needs to have more black history, including Omaha black history, as other central graduate requested on her speech. 
“We are a different generation, so that means we are up to different things. I believe in us and our consistency. This is the world we are growing up with and we ate ready to take initiative and make the change that needs to be changed, as this should not be another repeat,” Vanessa Amoah, said.

Amoah, 18-years old, one of the organizers, says, it was a dream come true to have gathered so many people. She will be attending college in Denver in the fall, but she will always come back to Omaha.

Demonstrators at What youth can do. Photo by, Gabriel Escalera, KVNO

Over a month has passed since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, which caused an avalanche of protests against police brutality and deep-rooted systemic racism, which has highlighted several other cases that had been little known in the world.

In Omaha, now it is the turn for the youth, they seek at all costs to make their voices heard and to achieve the necessary change for future generations.

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