Stanford University posed a standard question on their application: “What matters to you, and why?”
Ziad Ahmed, a senior at Princeton Day School in Princeton, New Jersey, immediately knew what his response would be and wrote it exactly 100 times: #BlackLivesMatter.
“Furthermore, it’s critical to realize that one-fourth to one-third of the Muslim community in America are black … and to separate justice for Muslims from justices for the black community is to erase the realities of the plurality of our community,” he said.
At 18, Ahmed has achieved significant accomplishments. Last year he was invited to the White House Iftar dinner and recognized as a Muslim-American change-maker, Mic reports.
Ahmed also exercised his political muscle as an intern and staffer for Hillary Clinton‘s presidential campaign after working for Martin O’Malley as the head of his presidential youth campaign. In 2015 he lead a TedxTalk and voiced the challenges of growing up as a Muslim-American teen. He’s also the founder and president of Redefy, a student organization that works to combat stereotyping.
Ahmed told Mic he refused to expound on his proclamation because it needed no further explanation.
“Black lives have been explicitly and implicitly told they don’t matter for centuries, and as a society — it is our responsibility to scream that black lives matter because it is not to say that all lives do not matter, but it is to say that black lives have been attacked for so long, and that we must empower through language, perspective, and action.”