Posted June 18, 2020
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Tiana Day is a 17-year-old cheerleader who wants to create change. On June 6, 2020, with the help of Mimi Zoila, she led the first ever protest across the Golden Gate Bridge. The nearly two-mile peaceful march brought together tens of thousands of people to protest and bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement. The Golden Gate Bridge was meant to symbolize ‘bridging the gap of inequality’ and unification. “My main motivator has definitely been seeing how much unity this movement is bringing,” said Tiana. “People of all backgrounds, races and religions are supporting the movement, and it’s really inspiring to see how much power a group of people have when we are working together!”
Cheerleading helped Tiana to feel empowered and confident when leading over 50,000 people across the Golden Gate Bridge. “I love rallying a crowd up and getting people excited before games—the same way I do for protests,” said Tiana. “Those are skills I don’t think I would have if I wasn’t a cheerleader.”
Tiana started a movement—but she’s not done. With the momentum of the protest, Tiana and her dad decided to start a nonprofit called Youth Advocates for Change. The goal? To unify as one and fight for equality of all people and to lead with love. The nonprofit advocates for all youth social injustices, including but not limited to Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and sexual abuse victims. “If you’re wanting to make a difference, don’t be afraid of what others will think,” said Tiana. “It’s hard as a teenager to go out on a limb, especially if you don’t have friends who are willing to do it with you. If you’re truly passionate about something, let your heart lead you.”
Youth Advocates for Change is first focusing on providing scholarships for Black students. Their GoFundMe has already raised over $20,000. It’s students like Tiana who are making a difference every day.
Want to get involved? Follow @youthadvocatesforchange on Instagram or donate to their GoFundMe to help raise funds for Black Youth.
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Heading into summer, you may be starting practice with your new team, how exciting! However that may look like for you and your program, dance and cheer teams across the US have one thing in common, leadership roles. These roles might be captains or routine leaders or secretaries. Regardless, all teams have them.
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