Eighth graders at Black Pine Circle School in Berkeley, California, are creating their own lessons on life after experiencing racism.
“I was just walking down the street with my mom, and this, like, random lady on the street coughed in her face,” 14-year-old Mina Fedor told CBS News.
As attacks on Asian Americans spiked during the pandemic, Fedor took action and organized a youth rally last spring. She expected 50 people to show up, but 1,200 people attended.
The rally inspired her to start Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth Rising, a group of middle school activists seeking to stop racism against Asian Americans. The group developed a plan encouraging schools to teach Asian American history.
“Education is the key to fighting racism and stereotypes and biases,” Fedor said. “It’s very crucial to changing people’s minds or undoing stereotypes.”
Fedor, a finalist last year for Time Magazine’s kid of the year, hopes that other Asian Americans learn from her that “they have power too.”
Their eighth-grade math teacher, Carwai Seto, was one of the people most moved by the group’s efforts.
“Really, I’m in awe. I’m just amazed at what they are able to do,” Seto told CBS News. “Inspiring us older people to actually do something and not just sit back.”