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The glowmedia project unilaterally condemns all racist violence and the systemtic racial injustices that communities of color face across our nation.  
In an effort to enhance understanding of and past-critical need to prevent racial injustices facing communities of color, we have invited writer and co-producer of King of the World, Kayla Berryto share her personal story.
The author, Kayla Berry, at the premiere of King of the World, the short film she co-wrote and co-produced, with lead actor, Matthew Holliday, who plays a character based on Kayla's brother, K.C. Berry.  Kayla graduated from Amherst College in 2019.  She is currently in the process of applying to medical school.
 
"As many of you know, the recent events surrounding George Floyd’s death have resulted in a national out-cry for justice and political reform. As a Black woman, his passing hits me close to home. I personally still have not watched the video for my own mental health, but I do not need to watch the video to know what happened or to feel the anger and sadness I have right now. The action of the police was beyond inhumane, cynical and racially motivated.  Mr. Floyd's death has called attention yet again to the systemic racism that exists in this country. Racism that my Black peers and I have always been vocal about, but are now just being heard.

I am a Black woman who has navigated privileged spaces her whole life. From the time I can remember, I existed as a Black girl in White spaces. What does that look like? It looks like constant discomfort of not being able to see yourself in the people around you. It looks like fear in that I may act as my White peers in a social setting but be the one to be reprimanded and blamed for the groups actions. But most of all it looks like being invisible. I exist in a world where I am not seen. I have been talked over while sitting at lunch with White peers. I have sat in circles and watched as everyone was invited to an outing - except for me. I have been questioned on my own intellectual capabilities during courses in college. This, in itself has been daunting on my mental health as I questioned why I was not good  or visible enough.  Or, what is my worth?

George Floyd's killing has brought experiences such as my own and those of many others to light. It saddens me that it took another Black person’s senseless and inhumane death at the hands of the police for this to happen.  But, it shows just how much work we have to do. Every time I think of what happened to Floyd I think of my brother, K.C. He was a tall, loving Black man, who, when he was in a manic episode caused by his bipolar disorder, made my whole family worried that he might have the wrong interaction with the wrong police officer. That instead of a mental health professional being called, a police officer who saw him not as someone in need, but as threat, would be.  I want justice for George Floyd! For me that means prosecuting all four officers to the highest degree. I want long lasting change for my community and that heavily includes the participation of allies from all corners of our society in America. To me the greatest thing an ally can do in addition to marching, signing petitions, and posting on social media is to start within. That means educating oneself on why this has happened to George Floyd and many others and understanding the other ways racism presents itself. It means seeing how, on a daily basis, you, as an ally, can can be aware of the space you take up and offer opportunities for your Black peers to be heard and to flourish in these United States."

Kayla Berry
King of the World

released 3-30-2020
Trish Glowacki, a parent who recognized the need for more and better mental health education, founded glowmedia in 2016. Visit glowmedia.org to learn more about our mission and how you can get involved. Together we can support teens by creating a culture of wellness in an environment free from the stigma associated with mental health.
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