Chadrick Fleno

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Chadrick Fleno is a Tampa Florida activist.

Blake High School Young Democratic Socialists of America

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Left to right: Graham Shelor speaks at a Young Democratic Socialists of America meeting; Lillie Shelor, Andy Villegas and Chadrick Fleno attend.

In a Blake High School, Tampa classroom with handmade posters covering one wall, approximately 15 high school students are chanting the words of black revolutionary Assata Shakur: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and we must support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” With some embarrassed giggling, they recite it once, twice, three times, led by their visiting speaker, Pamela Gomez of the Hillsborough Community Protection Coalition, an alliance of local progressive groups.

The chapter is the brainchild of Graham Shelor, 17. Slim and sandy-haired, a contemporary dancer as well as an organizer, Shelor grew up in a “fairly liberal” household but became disillusioned with the Democratic Party during the 2016 elections. “They lied to me and the people of America that they were going to make it work,” he says. “It led to a domino effect of me seeing the flaws in the current American system.”

For co-chair Kayla Ginty, 16, YDSA is more than a conduit to political action: It’s led her to question inherited political beliefs and define her adult political identity.[1]

References

  1. [http://inthesetimes.com/article/20901/YDSA-teen-Socialism-Millennials-high-school ITT FEBRUARY 14, 2018 Behind the Explosion in Socialism Among American Teens BY REBECCA STONER]