Adar (she/her) is a FEEST youth leader and sophomore at Evergreen High School. Born of Somali parents, Adar identifies as a first generation American and lives with her family in White Center.
Becoming a Food Justice Leader
“It bothers me that you can go down the road 10 minutes and it’s totally different,” she ranted. White Center has more fast food than grocery stores, meanwhile nearby West Seattle has abundant resources. Before discovering FEEST, Adar thought that was something she couldn’t change.
When asked why food justice matters to her, she replied, “Food is a basic necessity. Why do we keep having to protest for our basic necessities?”
Adar joined FEEST because she wants to make sure her community gets what they deserve.
“I like that FEEST doesn’t sugar coat the issue and we have real talk about justice,” she said. “A lot of students of color are really excited to be activists, and FEEST is a place where you can start your journey.”
As a FEEST youth leader, Adar enjoys speaking publicly about social justice issues. “Social justice has always been a part of my life,” she smiled. “Any time I see a woman of color speak up, I want to do that too.”
Social Justice at School
Another one of the issues Adar cares about is the way that Black and brown students are overpoliced in schools.
“The security guards are mostly in Black and brown schools. A lot of teachers feel students of color aren’t innocent, and they call security whenever they feel ‘threatened.’ The injustice in school reflects the injustice outside of school.”
“I want to see teachers and administrators look at students of color without judgement. I want a school where students of color don’t have to code switch. I’m more comfortable with teachers who are POC or other marginalized groups.”
Representation is important to her not only with teachers but also with mental health providers. Adar is concerned that students aren’t getting the mental health resources they need to thrive in life.
“Students don’t have access to diagnosis and are treated differently at school.”
Giving Back to White Center
Thinking about what she wants to do beyond high school, Adar said her top priority is giving back to White Center.
“Every time I tell someone I’m from White Center, they think it’s a poor place and feel bad for me. But it’s a melting pot of so many cultures. A lot of us don’t have resources and it’s not our own fault.”
At school, she observed, “a lot of us are first generation high school students or first generation Americans. Teachers are out of touch and expect students to do a lot. They have no understanding of what students are going through. Students are helping their families with bills.”
Adar wants to create more paid opportunities like FEEST for students to give back to their community and do things they’re interested in.
“We need more internships that pay good money so students can help their families. FEEST does this well in listening to what youth want. They understand students.”
You can support youth leaders like Adar by making a gift to FEEST today!
Photo: Adar is a FEEST youth leader at Evergreen High School.
Photo: Adar shared her experience with FEEST at a youth-led online event in April.