Scholar Category: Racial Injustice

Adriana Fierro Mena

Major: Entrepreneurship

Project: What I would like to pursue for my Puksta Project is equal educational opportunity for minorities. From elementary and forward, motivating and providing resources to students of color to attend higher education and advanced classes such as honors, AP and IB in order to promote and have more diversity in advanced education.

Inspiration: What inspired me to choose this project was my experience in the education system. I grew up taking honors, AP, and IB classes which were predominately white. I always felt out of place and my peers and teachers never helped me feel included or smart enough. I would like to encourage and motivate students of color to take these advanced classes because we are all worthy of a higher education.

Future Plans: What I hope to accomplish is making advanced classes more diverse. By making these classes more diverse more and more students of color will feel comfortable and worthy enough to take advanced classes which in the long run benefit their academic career.

Andrea Flores Pereida

Major: Sociology with a Concentration in Criminology

Project: Develop stricter and more organized regulations in my community to reduce the chances of gun violence. Supporting gun violence survivors.

Inspiration: My family was a victim of gun violence and we never got the justice we deserved. Also, we live in a world of uncertainty and fear so it’s important to address the bigger issues that add to that fear.

Future Goals: I want to be a tiny part of the change to make the world a better place in terms of gun violence. I want to help bring a little bit of ease and peace back to people in my communities.

Autumn Wilson

Major: Zoology

Project: The project I am pursuing is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, specifically focusing on the Indigenous community that lives in northern Colorado. I will be a mentor and lead community events, and provide a space for Indigenous peoples to come together and heal, give preventative courses and resources, and provide overall support for the Indigenous community.

Inspiration: I am an Indigenous woman who has seen my community members be hurt mentally and physically by others, I have seen little to no coverage of Missing and Murdered Indigenous peoples in the media and news. I think that education is very important, if I can educate the community Indigenous and non-Indigenous about these issues there can be a change.

Future Plans: I hope that I can accomplish educating the community, and provide a safe place where triggering conversations can be held. I hope to teach those around us what actions to take when placed in a harmful situation, to decrease the number of community members that have faced violence.

Adriana Iturbe

Major: Leadership and Community Engagement and English

Project: I actually have no idea where to start, but I know that I ultimately want to work with Latinx families on helping them understand what Black Lives Matter really means and why it is important to let go of the anti-blackness that within Latinidad and “Brown Lives Matter Too”

Inspiration: The current political climate has inspired me and has opened my eyes to the fact that a lot of the elderly Latinx folks aren’t educated on why BLM is so important not only to the Black / African-American population but for other people of color as well.

Future Goals: I hope to be able to educate myself and others on social justice issues but also I hope to build connections and friendships with people because they help influence a more positive world. I care deeply about people individually and I hope to help them learn about the importance of the social justice movement that we are living in.

James Artis III

Project: With my project I am aiming towards mending the relationship between law enforcement and the black community. Through this African-American male leadership program called Brotherhood I go into schools and help teach young high school students lessons around social justice, identity and the importance of higher education. We also held community forums and local schools that served as open spaces for parents, community members, teacher and students alike to voice their concerns about the issues going on in their neighborhood to police offers, members of city council, the DA’s office etc.

Inspiration: My life changed on June 22, 2010. That was the day Micah, my older brother and male role model, was shot. My Puksta Project is informed entirely by what happened that day and in the days since—that’s why I’m devoting myself to ending violence in neighborhoods and areas where it’s prevalent today… and make it history tomorrow.

In these last 4 years over 500 African-American males have been killed by police and law enforcement. We are often misrepresented in mass media as thugs murderers unintelligent and pathetic. These types of ideals add in to why police perceive us as dangerous. I want to dismantle these type idealistic views.

Future Plans for Project: I hope to open the eyes of Black youth and help them understand their potential and embrace their culture.

Blanche Marie Ndoutou

Project: I hosted events in which about 10-15 youth in my neighborhood of Sun Valley attended. The goal of the event was to teach them about the realities of the justice system and how they could protect themselves. The youth gave me feedback that they want me to continue hosting the events each year.

Future Plans for Project: I hope to make a difference to the people around me. I hope to make people around me happy and I hope to be satisfied with the work I’ve done.