Maleah Wells, Junior, University of Dayton, History Major

I am Vice-President of Black Action Through Unity, which serves as our Black Student Union here at the University of Dayton. Black activism is something that I consider myself heavily involved in, such as Black Lives Matter, Black Education, and the Womanist Movement. Growing up, Black Lives Matter has been a significant part of my life story. When I was 12 years old, Trayvon Martin was murdered. That was my first real introduction to the ugly reality of what it meant to be Black in America. I had the opportunity to watch Black Lives Matter form into the organization that it is today, which has inspired me to get involved.

The University of Dayton’s Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center has played a huge role in my activism. They have become a sort of safe haven and support system for many students like me. They give us the tools and the support to engage and challenge campus issues like racism and microaggressions. I believe that compliance with a system designed for you to fail is not true freedom. I aspire to live in a world where I can live carefree without the never-ending reminder that my Blackness threatens society.