Asukulu Songolo

2021 – WASHINGTON STATE (SEATTLE REGION)

Asukulu Songolo is a senior at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon. He is the child of refugees of war from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is an immigrant to this country from Zambia where he was born. Asukulu works as the founder and co-director of the Congo Peace Project and was the former founder and lead organizer with Fridays 4 Freedom. Working with the Congo Peace Project, Asukulu works to engage people in his local community to be global citizens and resource women and youth in the Congo supplies for menstrual hygiene and educational advancement. The project was founded in August of last year after Asukulu learned about the high rates of illiteracy and sexual violence in his home country. This summer in the midst of large uprisings in support of Black Lives Matter, Asukulu founded Fridays 4 Freedom. Fridays 4 Freedom is a youth collective fighting for Black Liberation across the city of Portland throughout the state of Oregon. The youth collective was founded and thrived against all odds in one of America’s whitest major cities. Asukulu believes and affirms that the fight for Black liberation is a global struggle and he believes that when Black liberation is achieved the world will be free from all systems of oppression. Asukulu hopes to continue working for Black Liberation in and throughout college but is not yet sure in what capacity or where his passions may lead — but he's excited to find out! He's honored and privileged to receive the award on behalf of the Seattle Region of the Princeton Prize. He dedicates it to his family, friends, school and organizing community, and ultimately to his community throughout the Congo — especially those who are suffering, dreaming and fighting for peace and justice.