At 17, Asheville High School senior Miranda Williams knows her calling. “I can talk about racial justice and inequities for hours and not get tired,” she says.
Since her freshman year, Williams has worked with a number of organizations addressing racial disparities and injustices within the community. Currently, she is one of 24 Racial Equity Ambassadors at AHS; the student-led group recently developed six strategies for culturally relevant teaching.
In addition to her ambassadorship, Williams is a doula mentee at SistasCaring4Sistas, a community-based doula program at Mountain Area Health Education Center committed to social justice and reducing health disparities for women and infants of color.
Her ongoing work for racial justice and equity is demanding and can be emotionally draining. “It can often feel like you are taking one step forward and going five steps back,” she says, citing the recent headlines of the police killing of Daunte Wright, a Black man fatally shot by a white officer in Brookyln Center, Minn., just 11 miles from where George Floyd was killed in 2020.
Despite fatigue, Williams knows the work she is doing today has the potential to impact tomorrow.
“I hope that people realize racism is taught and that as long as people are teaching their children what was taught to them, we will forever be a dog chasing its own tail,” she says. “I hope that the generations to come are more open-minded and resilient to the negative influences that came before them. And I hope they realize that everything begins with education.”