25 young people making noise for social progress

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Ziad Ahmed

Ziad Ahmed, who goes by “Ziad the activist,” is an “American-Muslim-Bangladeshi social justice activist, and he’s unapologetic about it,” according to his website, and has been commended by President Barack Obama for his work for social progress.

And he’s not kidding about being unapologetic. Ahmed first came to national attention last year when he got accepted to Stanford after he wrote #BlackLivesMatter 100 times in response to the prompt “What matters to you, and why?” It was an incredibly powerful statement.

However, Ahmed had been working for social progress for years before he applied to college. When he was a freshman in high school he started an anti-discrimination organization called Redefy. The organization consists of 250 students around the world that want to end stereotypes using social media. He also started a youth consulting firm.

Moreover, Ahmed has been very involved in politics. He’s worked on the Martin O’Malley 2016 presidential campaign as the co-head of Youth For O’Malley, he’s interned for Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and the State Department, and he volunteered for the Muslim Outreach Director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Ahmed has also given four TEDxTalks and has spoken at other engagements, speaking out about Islamophobia, Black Lives Matter and other social issues. He’s written for a few publications, and has served on boards, including that of DoSomething.org. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s been invited to the White House multiple times.

Ahmed is now studying at Yale and is continuing to fight for social justice.

“I am many things,” Ahmed previously told CNN, “but I am an unapologetic progressive activist first and foremost.”