In the summer of 2020, amidst a global pandemic and racial reckoning in the United States after the deaths of black people such as George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, photographer and author Kate T. Parker posted on Facebook and Instagram: “Kid-Friendly Rally for Black Lives.” Kate was moved by the rallies for racial justice and solidarity occurring throughout the country, but wanted one that would be aimed at young people, so she decided to organize one herself. High school teacher Kathryn Hamrlik sent Kate a DM: “Do you need any help?” “YES!” Kate replied.
On June 11, 2020, hundreds of people attended the peaceful rally in Roswell, Georgia, donning masks and carrying signs for racial equality. They heard from a line-up of singers and speakers – young people ages 11-18 – inspiring others to use their voice to enact change in our society, now and for future generations.
After the rally, Kate and Kathryn wanted to explore other ways to empower children’s voices and experiences. Combining Kate’s photography and Kathryn’s work with young people, Seen and Heard Youth was born. The goal: to hear from extraordinary kids about their strength, their struggles, their dreams, and their triumphs. To see the world from their point of view. To share their stories as a way to inspire others, young and old alike.
See them. Hear them. Believe in them.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.Eleanor Roosevelt