Kellsie Lewis

2021 - MARYLAND

Kellsie Lewis is a sophomore at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland. Kellsie is a contributor to "Black at the Trischools," a social media platform that amplifies Black voices by sharing narratives of the Black experience while attending predominantly white institutions. The murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor revealed the persisting systems of racial inequality in America. As the world quarantined while living in the midst of two pandemics, racism and COVID19, Black students were left without an outlet to express their suffering. "Black at the Trischools" liberates encaged voices of the trischools: Bryn Mawr, Gilman, and Roland Park Country School. @BlackattheTrischools is an Instagram page for Black alumni, parents, and students to reclaim their voices through storytelling. The page has reached over 4,000 people, receiving over 200 anonymous stories, and prompting the "Black At" social movement where Black students of predominantly white institutions use the power of testimony to demand change. After reviewing the riveting stories from the account, the heads of the trischools reformed their schools’ practices by releasing action steps towards anti-racism which included the installation of a director of DEI, counteracting implicit bias training for teachers, and working to hire a diverse staff. Since the creation of the page, Kellsie has also organized a walkout, following the mistreatment of a Black faculty member, to speak out against a school system that actively devalues and silences Black voices, despite their claims towards anti-racism. The walkout received positive media attention from outlets such as the U.S. News and World Report and the Baltimore Sun. Aside from her involvement with @BlackattheTrischools, Kellsie serves as class president and a leader of her school's Black Student Union. Within those positions, Kellsie has organized schoolwide convocations that highlight the Black experience and she’s currently naming a space on campus to honor the legacy of the first Bryn Mawr Black students. Once Kellsie graduates, she will continue to oversee the account with the help of current students. Kellsie will continue to foster an environment where Black people feel a sense of belonging within their own space.