Stand up loudly and boldly

by José Luis Gandara

José Luis Gandara is a 2020-2021 Benest Fellow at Joint Venture. Originally from Seattle, Washington, José is a freshman at Stanford University. He is passionate about state and local policy and has studied gentrification processes in San José, wildfire policy in California, and rent assistance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Urban and Regional Policy and he is also considering a double-major in Economics.

Illustration of Summer Taylor

On July 4th, I lost my cousin, Summer Taylor (they/them), after they were struck by a high-speed car that drove into a Black Lives Matter protest in Seattle. They worked full-time in a vet clinic but for the past several weeks had used any time off to protest against police brutality and in solidarity with Black lives. They dedicated their life and what privilege they had to make the world a better place. Summer is my hero and role model for what antiracist white allyship really looks like.

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Joint Venture’s blog is a laboratory dedicated to thought leadership. It’s a place where a diversity of voices may test concepts in advance of publication. We welcome posts from opinion leaders in their field of expertise in order to connect with Joint Venture’s spectrum of audiences.