Activism In Our Community 


Photo Courtesy of Cathy Miller

Organizer Mariah Weatherspoon, a sophomore, speaks to a group of about 50 in Washington during a Black Lives Matter protest in June, 2020.

Samantha Lewis, Opinion Editor

Many members of the Warren County community have joined with  national movements and advocating for racial justice in our towns.  

After the death of George Floyd this past summer, outrage was sparked. Peaceful Black Lives Matter protests flooded the streets, including Washington Boro and Oxford. 

This past summer in the Washington Boro Pocket Park, Warren Hills sophomores Mariah Weatherspoon and Julia Bisse organized the protest where about 50 members of the community joined. This is one of several peaceful protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement held in Warren County. 

“At first, I was very scared to organize a protest in the town that we are in,” said Weatherspoon. “I got some help from Julia Bisse, who helped to make posters and spread the word. From there, I invited people, including the mayor of Washington.”

Also in Oxford this past summer, a rally was held in front of the township’s municipal building during a town council meeting  in support of A.J. Lewis, who is a lifeguard at the Oxford Furnace Lake.

At work, Lewis had experienced racial and homophobic agressions from visitors. After relating the incident to his supervisor, Lewis and his father brought the matter to the town council.

Lewis’ family and friends organized a rally of 30-50 individuals and had them speak to their experiences in the town during the public comment section of the meeting.

When asked why this was important to bring  to the attention of the council members, Lewis said, “The council needed to realize minority struggles are important and are a town issue.”

Many of the activists said they wanted to call attention to the racism happening in our community.

An anonymous senior also felt the need to call out racism, especially amongst students at Warren Hills and they did so through the internet platform, Tik Tok.

The student made a total of five Tik Toks, in which they exposed non-black students who were accused of saying the N-word. 

Part of a Tik Tok trend, “The song, ‘JoJo Pose’ by Apollo Fresh is playing in the background and I am posing like the students that say the N-word,” the anonymous source said. “I had taken photos from the students’ Instagrams and other forms of social media and posed the same way they pose in the photo.” 

According to the student, they obtained the information from posts of the accused, also from videos on Snapchat of them saying the N-word.

As the videos went viral, they realized they had the opportunity to do something.

    “[I realized] I have a way to start a conversation and bring attention to this,” said the student. “Not only did it start a conversation about the N-word, but it started a conversation that really needs to be talked about.”

The student received mixed reviews from the community. Some people thanked them for bringing attention to this issue, but they also received harsh criticism. They did not take the videos down and said they believed it was important to post them because it sparked much-needed conversations in the community. 

Like Weatherspoon, the anonymous student believes that activism on the local level is more important as it gets more done. 

“If we paint over issues that are occurring, especially when it comes to race, the issues will never be solved,” said Weatherspoon. “It’s important on a local level because it’s essential that all people in the community feel safe, comfortable and have their voices heard,” 


*Note from the editor: A.J. Lewis is Samantha Lewis’ brother but this does not affect the authenticity of the article