An Irvine teen is using her talents to bring other teens together to have a conversation about anti racism.
Sasha Ronaghi had a plan. Why not connect with a dozen or so teens her age on instagram? Then challenge them to read a book about racism and discuss what they learned.
She never expected her idea would become this -- the anti-racism education project for people 14 to 21 years old.
Meetings are held via zoom. Cameras must be turned on to verify age. The attendees are from around the world.
This first meeting was a test to lay out the ground rules such as listen, don't try to persuade and assume others have good intentions.
While differences and opinions are acceptable invalidating the black experience is not.
Since its online launch May 31, the project has gained more than 400 members, and connected with 100 organizations in 16 countries.
The 17 year old says communicating with others around the world is no big deal to a generation that can send direct messages via almost any social platform.
"It's a normal thing for us," Ronaghi said. "We're so used to talking to people all over word. So I think it's made us more open minded."
The next meeting will include experts in the fields of health and the African American experience in small-town U.S.A.
She hopes that the types of media sometimes criticized for not being educational enough will become a call to action for anti racism. Ronaghi, who was just accepted in the engineering school at Columbia University, says this is a time when you can"t predict or expect anything, given the pandemic.
"The teaching of it differs and because it's such a prevalent thing worldwide I think that's why kids of our generation and around the world want to learn about it," Ronaghi said.