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Hi!

We are high school and college students that are passionate about racial equity and appreciating all cultures and lifestyles. We are based in western Washington but have amazing team members from across the state and country. The Root of Our Youth is the student subcommittee of The Root of Us, and we work closely with them on projects, rallies, and more to educate others. 

We are constantly moving and working to make steps towards racial equity in schools and the society around us. Our goals are based around policy reform and accountability in school districts. 

Follow our Instagram @therootofouryouth to stay updated on our current projects! 

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Meet Our Team 

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SIDNEY MAYS

My name is Sidney Mays (she/her) and I am one of the podcast hosts. I am a dual sport athlete entering my senior year in high school. I was invited to come to one of the teen meetings and I was hooked because I know how my district needs to change and I want to be a part of the changes!

SAVANNAH CARTER

My name is Savannah Carter (she/her/hers). I am 17 years old and going into my senior year at Woodinville High School. I first got involved with The Root of Our Youth in Mid July through my good friend and fellow member Ally Sutherland who suggested I join because in June we both worked with some District members on ethnic studies education reform, so she knew that I would love to work with like-minded passionate students. Currently, I am a part of the student written newsletter team for The Root of Our Youth, where we publish an email newsletter every other Friday.

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MALAVIKA SANTHOSH

Hi! My name is Malavika Santhosh and I'm a junior. I'm an aspiring journalist and have a passion for acting and science. I love being involved in my community, especially my school. I've been noticing and learning about the many inequities that various students face everyday in my region and am dedicated to being part of the solution. I joined the Root of Our  Youth in July and am part of the team behind our newsletter. I also help out with various other projects to help aid in our fight for equity and diversity in our schools!

TARA DUONG

Hey! My name is Tara Duong (she/her) and I am a junior at Bothell High School! I am an asian-american woman who is tired of seeing my black and brown classmates being treated poorly. I’m here to do what I can to support my classmates and future students. I mostly work on graphics that you will find on our instagram page and other fun behind-the-scenes things!

ALLY SUTHERLAND

Hi! My name is Ally Sutherland (she/her) and I am part of the social media team! In June I created a petition to implement more diversity into our curriculum to make learning more equitable, which later brought me to the Root of Our Youth team. I work alongside many other inspiring and hardworking students to achieve a more equitable future in our schools and communities through the use of virtual rallies, a podcast, social media, and much more.

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CAROLINE VALLEY

Hi! My name is Caroline Valley! I’m 16, going into my junior year of high school, and I use she/her pronouns. I was urged to join The Root of Our Youth by a friend, and quickly found myself helping out wherever I was needed, and volunteered to do the video editing! I fell in love with this group and the work we do, fighting from everyone to feel safe, and have equal opportunities in our schools.

DIYA KUMAR

Hi! I’m Diya Kumar (she/her) and I am one of the co-creators of The Root of Our Youth website. I joined this team because I have learned a lot about racial equity and want to play my part in bringing change to my local school districts.

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DIYA ANOOP

Hi! My name is Diya (she/her) and I’m high school junior. I joined the Root of Our Youth in July because I am passionate about learning and educating others about injustices in our community and am committed to help fight against them. I am a writer and editor on our newsletter team and help out with many other projects as well!

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SHANNON THOMAS

Hello! I'm Shannon (she/her) and I am a high school junior. I am the creator and designer of this website, and I am eager to help wherever I can. I was asked about joining The Root of Our Youth by a friend, and after the first rally I found myself really apperciating the work this group does. The Root of Our Youth is special, and I want to be part of the change, striving for a safer and brighter future for everyone.

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ADIT GUPTA

Hello, my name is Adit Gupta (he/him) and I help with public relations. I will be in a few of our podcasts, so keep an eye out for me! I joined because there are not a lot of males, so I wanted to help change that. I have had experiences with racism which has led to internalized racism, so I want to see positive change in the world.

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ZOE ROGERS

Hi, I'm Zoe Rogers (she/her) and I am on the podcast team! I joined because I want to educate others and educate myself on new topics. These topics affect everyone and I think it’s important that we make change and I want to be apart of that change.

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SHREYA MEHTA

Hi! I’m Shreya Mehta (she/her) and I've been contributing to our breakout room #2, focusing on student mental health issues. I'm from Eastern WA, a colorguard dancer, science enthusiast, and absolutely in love with the concept of learning from sharing stories and hearing others' experiences. My reason for joining The Root of Our Youth was to hear about progress in terms of equity at different schools and districts--it's been amazing being able to talk to adults without the usual filter and also just being in zooms with such supportive and kind students.

ZANA STEWART

My name is Zana Stewart (she/her). I am a part of the podcast crew and I am a junior in high school.

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RISHITHA RAVI

Hello! My name is Rishitha (she/her) and I’m a 9th grader. I am part of the main team, helping with facilitating, newsletter, and communications. Why did I join Root of Our Youth? I could tell there were problems with the inclusivity of our curriculum before the pandemic. After, equity issues and the need for a black history/pan ethnic history curriculum became exceedingly clear. The BLM movement and the disparities that minority groups are experiencing shows that it’s time to stop telling a white-washed, biased narrative.

MARLO DUONG

My name is Marlo Duong (she/her). I’m 18, I recently graduated from Bothell High School, and I now attend the University of Washington. Modern racism has always weighed heavily on my mind, as I grew up in a predominantly white area and internalized a lot of anti-asian sentiments; I am angered by the fact that that the same system that places me on a pedestal actively oppresses black/brown Americans. I am active in planning/organizing, social media outreach, and I edit our podcasts! I am so grateful to be doing meaningful work alongside other talented and passionate young minds. BIPOC students, we are here to serve YOU!

RUBY BENNETT

Hi! My name is Ruby Bennett (she/her) and I am part of the newsletter team! I am passionate about working towards a more diverse and equitable society, which is why I joined The Root of Our Youth!

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STEFANIE SASAKI

Hi! I’m Stefanie and I am part of the research team! I joined The Root of Our Youth with the hope of raising awareness about the struggles of BIPOC students. In the past couple of months, I’ve come to understand that systemic racism is still very much alive and prevalent, and I’ve also come to realize the amount of privilege I have in daily aspects of my life that I’ve never been aware of. I’m here to use my voice to encourage reformations within the education system and to work towards a more equitable environment in schools for students of color. 

PERNILLE PETERSEN

Hi! I'm Pernille (she/her) and I help facilitate and work behind-the-scenes on our projects! I have also led a discussion in the Support for LGBTQ+ Students breakout room during our rallies! 

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PHIA ENDICOTT

Hey! I’m Phia, I’m 17 and going into my senior year of high school. My main role here is making graphics, but I do a little bit of everything. I also organize for another group called Washington Youth for Climate Justice. I’m incredibly passionate about turning school into a space where students of color not only feel safe, but valued and empowered. I’m also a huge advocate for mental health and mental health resources in schools, as mental illness is very prevalent in our generation and disproportionately affects people of color. I’m so grateful for all of the wonderful students in this organization and all the hard work they do!