She’s leading the new class of civil rights advocacy!
Nupol Kiazolu was in middle school when Trayvon Martin was murdered, his death sparking the first of many protests for the young activist. Since then she has been on the frontlines of justice issues, leading protests in Charlottesville after neo-nazis violently took to the streets and in Louisville after the tragic murder of Breonna Taylor. Today, Nupol is the founder of We Protect Us, an organization aimed at empowering Black and Brown communities through education, violence prevention resources, sustainable offerings, and mutual aid across New York.
“I envision a world in which Black people exist freely. A world in which Black people have equitable access to resources regardless of gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. I want Black people to wake up every single day knowing they won’t be hindered or at risk because of the color of their skin. I want Black Trans and Queer folks to exist without fear of persecution because they are living their truths. I want a world in which no matter the shade of your melanin, you are honored, protected, and respected as Black people,” Nupol told Because Of Them We Can.
The Hampton University student has been featured by Forbes, Seventeen Magazine, and is the first HBCU student to make Teen Vogue’s 21 under 21 list. Nupol is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and has been crowned Miss Liberia USA. A first-generation student and leading voice among Gen Z civil rights leaders, Nupol said she is most inspired by her peers and the work they’ve been able to accomplish on the ground.
“My peers have fighting spirits. We are not asking or waiting for change. We’re taking it. The work I do in communities across the country affords me the opportunity to work closely with people at a grassroots level. That’s why it’s so important to continuously build within my community and coalesce with others because the most tangible and impactful change starts at a grassroots level,” she explained.
At just 22 years old, Nupol hopes she can serve as a different type of representation of Black excellence. An organizer, creator, and DEI Strategist, Nupol wants to set an example that there is no wrong way to live a grand and impactful life. She is most proud of the way she’s used her own trauma as a catalyst for change, persevering through dark moments in her life to stand up for numerous communities on issues of civil rights, domestic and sexual violence, and homelessness. Nupol hopes that more people will engage with her work, attending her community activations and amplifying her message so that she may serve as a source of inspiration for other youth.
“It’s incredibly important to show Black youth that there’s more to Black success than what the mainstream media pushes. While it’s amazing to be an athlete or entertainer, there are more options out there for us…There were many external and internal battles I had to overcome and I’m still standing. I’m not only surviving but I’m thriving despite all of the trauma I had to navigate as a young, Black woman in America…I want Black youth everywhere to see my story and know that greatness is possible and I want them to be even better!,” said Nupol.
To keep up with Nupol’s work, follow her on Instagram @Nupol_Justice.
Congratulations Nupol on becoming one of BOTWC’s 2023 Young Frontrunners. Because of you, we can! To view all the amazing 2023 Young Frontrunners, visit botwc.com/youngfrontrunners.
Cover photo: 2023 ‘Young Frontrunner’ honoree Nupol Kiazolu is on the frontlines forcing us forward/Photo Courtesy of Nupol Kiazolu/BecauseOfThemWeCan