My name is Taofeekat Lamina, I go to KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate and I am currently 16 years old.
Who is your hero?
I honestly have a lot of women in my life that inspire me but one of which is Maya Angelou. I honestly love her story and how she overcame so many different things to create so many different work of arts that were able to outlive her. And she has always inspired me that even if something has not been defined and decided, doesn’t mean that you can’t create it and set the precedent. Which is something she has done on so many levels.
How are you helping to make history?
I have been helping make history by honestly being myself. I realized that there are a lot of different systems in place that are inequitable. Especially, starting with my school I have a lot of goals for myself by the time I graduate. To leave a mark on this school and ensure that it is better for those who come after me. I also hope to be an advocate for people of other communities as well as my own to feel acknowledged and listened to. I have a lot planned regarding the various different organizations/ clubs that I am a part of as the current president of the Black Student Union and as one of the founders of KCWS (KALC Coalition to end White Supremacy).
When you think about your future, what gets you excited?
I am excited to be in a position of power and be in those places that have always seemed closed off honestly. I want to make change in whatever I do and make the world more inclusive for all the various types of people who are excluded. Also, hope to see more light shed on other perspectives, that aren’t the typical Eurocentric idealistic versions. I am hopeful that especially with my generation of change makers, we will accomplish those goals set by our elders.
What’s it mean to you to be a woman?
To be a woman, means that I am a matriarch. It means that I will lead in whichever room I enter, and that I will not allow my voice to be silenced. It means to go through a path of womanhood navigating the world in it’s entirety seeing how it may not favor me in certain situations. And also realizing just how much I am supposed to bare on my shoulders, simply because I am a black woman in America. It also means to think of my wellness and healing from the societal norms that I have been conditioned to confine to. And wow that in everything that I do, I need to look at everything in a specific lens and heal from these burdens so that future generation don’t have to experience the same thing.