Anya Dillard's non-profit pushes young people to get involved in community service and to create thought-provoking works of activist-infused art
ANYA DILLARD: Can I get a, I am--
- I am--
ANYA DILLARD: --a revolutionary
- --a revolutionary.
ANYA DILLARD: --because you are a revolutionary.
My name is Anya Dillard. I'm 18 years old, and I'm an activist, social entrepreneur, and the founder of the Next Gen Come Up. I started Next Gen Come Up in 2018, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging youth to pursue activism, get involved in community service, and raise awareness through creating thought-provoking works of art.
I wanted to create a space for other young people to harness their inner voice and understand that they have a right to have opinions and they have a right to be heard. A couple of days after the George Floyd video went viral, I got a call from one of my friends, and she said, hey, we got to do something. And I was like, absolutely.
And at that point, we were trying to host an event within like a six day span, but the outpouring of support that we got from the community was insane. I'm fighting for my little brother. I'm fighting for my father. The crowd that ultimately ended up showing up comprised of over 3,000 people, which was something that we would have never conceptualized was even possible.
It's super easy to fall into the mindset of thinking you don't have enough power to make a difference in the community. Not every contribution needs to be a massive, ground breaking event. The more people understand that there are little ways you can contribute to the movement, the more comfortable people will get with the idea of being advocates in their everyday practices.