Youth Blog: Amir

My Name is Amir Khadar.

I’m a multidisciplinary activist artist, with an addiction to bubble tea and Shea butter.
And I work as a youth organizer at Voices for Racial Justice.

I got involved with Voices in summer 2015 as a participant in their Youth Cultural Organizing Institute and it was an epicenter for change in my life. The training is focused around giving youth of color the space to understand community organizing, and empower black & brown youth. At that point in my life I was very confused about my identity and unclear about my potential. As a queer black person, I felt disgustingly excluded by all communities. I was constantly struggling to navigate a white supremacist/heteronormative society while maintaining my individuality, and I felt lost. A close friend sent me the application for the training through Facebook and I did it because I needed a summer activity so my parents would stop nagging me.

This training was the first time I was in a space that was exclusively intended for radical youth of color. I initially expected to be tokenized or alienated because my past experiences in majorly of color spaces were toxic (because they were orchestrated by white people). I was almost taken aback when people in the space recognized me as my authentic self. Because of the space, I felt more connected and like I could really grow at Voices.

In the training I was exposed to intersectionality through a workshop session. I began to define my identity, and that was my first step in solidifying my self-image. I was also exposed to writing and poetry through more workshops. Since then poetry and spoken word have shaped how I see the world. My whole life I always had a passion for art and creation, but the way white supremacy is set up, I believed everything I made was inadequate. Through voices I really understood the nature of white supremacy, and I began to deconstruct it in my life to find my goals. I am currently going to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, MD for the 2017-2018 schoolyear, and the validation that Voices gifted me gave me the courage to identify as an artist, and pursue my passion.

Now I work with Voices as a youth organizer, with 2 other incredible youth of color, and Gabriella Deal-Marquez, the youth organizing director at Voices. We have a collective interest in healing justice, and work to create events and spaces for exchange centered on healing practice for and with youth of color. As a part of my role at Voices I will be sharing my perspective by blogging twice a month about something that I feel is meaningful.

I am excited to share my creations with you all!

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