Local teens organize Black Lives Matter rally
As the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum across the country, one local teen took note.
“We became aware that Dripping Springs did not have a Black Lives Matter rally or event, while every other small town, every other notable stop in Hays County has something of the sort,” Audrey Balsden said, a junior at Dripping Springs High School.
Balsden is also the President of the Young Democrats Club at the high school. With the help of her Vice President, Evelyn Bristol and other officers, she decided it was time to take action.
“It was a sense of embarrassment for us—the fact that we haven’t stood up for this issue thus far. We wanted to be those people to bring it to the table in Dripping Springs,” Balsden said. “I think it’s incredibly important that a community as white and as homogenous as this community is, we need to stand up for our fellow citizens. We need to stand up for our brothers and sisters, our friends, our family, our fellow Americans.”
The young activists then organized a Black Lives Matter rally, but not a school event. The district was not involved. “This was simply us being motivated through our club and also just personal motivation,” Balsden explained.
Around 40 to 50 people attended the rally held at the Sententia Vera Cultural Hub in Dripping Springs on Saturday, June 20. “It was essentially just an ability for people to step out and speak out on the issue, both to support our fellow community members who may be people of color or who may be black, but also simply to do something,” Balsden said.
The program featured speeches by prominent community members and black activists including Austin NAACP President, Nelson Linder. He spoke to the crowd about the importance of elections, dialogue and education.
“I felt that it was very positive. There were a lot of people there. They were very enthusiastic,” Balsden said.