Jean Qian

2021 – FLORIDA (MIAMI REGION)

Jean Qian is a senior at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Fla. Along with her peers in BLMWeston, she coordinated the first Black Lives Matter protest in the city, sparking discourse on police brutality. The group continued its work in racial justice by compiling a 30-page living document to function as a report to the City of Weston on racial and social justice, as well as doing investigative work to expose and disband a Facebook group of citizens who had links to white supremacy groups. During the municipal elections, Jean coordinated interviews and published reports on more than two dozen candidates, evaluated for their commitment to social issues like criminal justice and education reform. The group also pushed the city to pass its first set of council resolutions pertaining to racism, which included a resolution promising measures of police reform and a resolution against antisemitism and anti-Asian bigotry, in relation to rising ignorance related to misinformation about COVID-19. The impact that she feels most proud of, however, was the group's efforts to successfully establish the first African American history class in Florida’s largest public high school. She believes that there is valuable insight that can be gained from a high school history class that comes from a non-Eurocentric point of view for a comprehensive education that is vital to how one views the world.