Makyah Malone

2023 - MEMPHIS

Makyah Malone is a senior at Harding Academy in Memphis, Tennessee. She serves in several roles at school but the Diversity Club president, Campus Ambassador, and chaplain of her senior class, are a few that are near to her heart. In the summer of 2020, Makyah wrote a letter expressing the hurt and disadvantage African American students face at a predominately white private school. She chose to get involved with this activity as an extension of what she experienced as an 8th grader when Rashad Oliver created the Diversity Club. She believes in justice and equity amongst her peers and felt as if the hearts and voices of African American students were not heard. She wanted to change the narrative in her school that the African American students were only useful for athletics. Her goal was to open the conversation to ways we can improve on diversity and equity among the student body in opportunities and dialogue. Makyah wanted to be a brave voice for those who did not know how to express themselves. As a member of the NAACP Youth Council and other local youth organizations she periodically takes time to speak about ways of improvement and she wanted this experience of writing a letter to the school's administration to strike a response and call for more work for the faculty/staff to understand the drastic experience difference African American students often have as compared to their white counterparts. Makyah's letter sparked the change she desired; it helped to create a diversity and inclusion role for a new administrative position, quarterly diversity and inclusion faculty/staff mandated trainings, a committee for racial justice, and many other forward initiatives by the school to implement change. As the president of the Diversity Club Makyah helps to create opportunities for students, lead Black History Month chapels, and speak out against injustices. Outside of social justice initiatives Makyah is a captain of the soccer and basketball teams, and a track and field athlete as well. Makyah is working diligently with alumni and current students on ideas and opportunities for our student body and faculty/staff to experience various cultures. Currently, she is working with the Diversity Club to choose the next group leader, who will continue to plan new events, work with the administration and impact the community. Upon graduation, Makyah plans to study physiology and then attend law school, and to join the Black Alumni Association at Harding Academy.