Youth Activism in BLM

What We Did 

On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a deli employee called 911, accusing him of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Mr. Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life.


This is absolutely unacceptable. The systematic racism that America has put into place needs to change. This is not the first black man to be wrongfully killed by police force and sadly, it won’t be the last. We need to keep fighting against police brutality and this systematic racism until we see a change. 


The youth, empowered by this idea, has been uniting under a single cause and taking action in their community to invoke legislative and societal action. With changes occurring every day due to the youth's initiative, BLM is an example of what we can do if we fight for what we believe in. It is in times like these where it is important to remember to always do your bit, because collectively, we can induce change around what we are passionate about if we take the first steps. 

Next Steps 

While posting on social media and spreading awareness about the problems our country faces is important, there are other things you can and should be doing to help this cause. Do Your Bit has put together a document of resources that contains places to donate, petitions to sign, mental health resources, black-owned businesses to support, lawyers doing pro-bono cases for those who were arrested by protesting, and bail funds. Some of these links are specific to Texas or to Austin. From Do Your Bit, stay safe out there, and let’s continue to do our part to fight against what is wrong. 



Project Protect

What We Do 

“What starts here changes the world.” As students at The University of Texas at Austin, this is a phrase that has become ubiquitous. We see it printed on t-shirts, plastered on buildings, and even written at the end of many of the emails we receive from the university. Yet, as we face this global pandemic, this phrase has become much more than a motto. It has become our battle cry as we fight coronavirus, and the inspiration for Project Protect. 


Project Protect is a fundraising campaign led by students at The University of Texas at Austin. Our mission is simple: to protect those who protect us. Every day, healthcare workers in our city, country, and across the world are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. It is unacceptable that these heroes have to fear for their own safety, as well as the safety of their families. This is why Project Protect is raising money for Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization dedicated to equipping facilities in resource-poor areas with medicine and supplies. Direct Relief is currently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in over 80 counties. Our goal is to raise $10,000 for this life-saving organization. 

Next Steps 

Today, we are asking the public to join us in our efforts by donating to our campaign. Today, we are asking you to join us in changing the world.

Mental Health Awareness

Sheryl Lawrence, Austin TX

What I Did 

“Learn to share your food. You’re not fat; you’re curvy. Maybe you shouldn’t eat that. You’re too skinny. Maybe you should calm down. You need to cheer up a bit. Just smile and laugh more, that always helps. I feel like a can’t ever talk to you because you’re always in a bad mood. Don’t joke about depression. Are you okay?” These are all phrases that people have said to me as I struggled with mental health. It is something that would never wish on anyone else and something I know has to be talked about more in our society. 


During my high-school career, multiple students took their own lives. This made someone at my school take charge and he started the conversation about mental illness and the stigma around it on our campus. At the end of my sophomore year, he held an event called Light Up Depression. When first looking at the title, the message seems like the event is shining a light on depression, or even romanticizing it, but it was so much more than this. This event focused on a wide range of mental illnesses and gave a platform to those who were struggling. The event consisted of speakers, performers, and organizations that help those struggling with mental illness. In the middle of my junior year, he suddenly handed the event over to me. Within a matter of a month, I was able to gather speakers and performers, advertise, and figure out all the logistics. The amount of stress leading up to it and the amount of pressure to make sure everything went according to the plan was worth the outcome. 


In the end, the event brought people together toward a common goal of breaking the stigma against mental illness in our society. Events like this are incredibly important in our society today because if we do not talk about the problem, it is not going to be solved and people’s mindsets are not going to change.


Next Steps 


Hold a mental health awareness event on your high-school or college campus. In the end, all people want is a simple conversation, so that can be the extent of the event if you want it to be. You can contact me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you want/need advice for this.


Stand-up for what’s right! When you see or hear someone making fun of mental illness, call them out for it because it is not okay!


Check out project semicolon, and possibly donate or join the movement. Project Semicolon is an American nonprofit organization known for its advocacy of mental health wellness and its focus as an anti-suicide initiative. It is called project semicolon because a semicolon represents that the story is not over which in this sense means that your story and your life should and will continue.


Multiple organizations are reputable and I would suggest donating/volunteering with: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, STARRY, Austin Anxiety & OCD Specialists, National Alliance on Mental Illness

COVID-19 Intubation Box

Intubation Safety Box

We have built a box (locally in the US using locally available material and laser cutter) that is being used or can be used in healthcare centers/ICUs providing care to Corona patients. 


COVID patients experience consistent cough and, as a result, emit microdroplets in the air that carries the virus. The box protects the medical health providers instantly by reducing airborne direct hits while intubating from the rear end. It is very easy to use and can be reused by cleaning with soap.


Doctors in Princeton Hospital System in NJ are finding it's very useful. Many more can be produced easily in the USA in a short time by material available locally and laser cutters.

What you can do to help  

These intubation boxes are integral to ensuring that our healthcare providers are able to treat patients suffering from COVID-19. Fortunately, these boxes can be designed by every-day citizens. Please follow the steps below and refer to the image above in order to do your bit in fighting today's pandemic:

"We are using a 3D Printer to make PLA/ABS Plastic Hinges so that anybody can assemble these in minutes.

Home Depot parts like standard nuts and bolts and one 24x36 and three 18x24 Acrylic Sheets.

The holes can be cut by 4" hole saws or Laser Cutters if accessible. No glue required and assembly should be very fast.

Disassembly should be easy as well so as to clean with bleach/70% alcohol after use."

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