Sophie originally wanted a career in the media and came to Essex to study communications and digital culture but an optional human rights module in the first year changed that and today she’s graduating with a BA Sociology and Human Rights.
Spurred on by the injustices she was learning about, Sophie applied to join the Amnesty Rise Up programme for young people interested in achieving social change. It gave her the opportunity to learn from the best.
At Amnesty’s London headquarters Sophie heard from activists about how they started and grew their campaigns.
“I met so many amazing people who were all passionate about their topic,” she said.
She believes the experience has been transformational: “It taught me a lot about myself. The person I was in the very first session and the person I am now are two different people. I believe in myself more and I know that there is power in standing up and being vocal.”
It also gave her the tools and knowledge to start her own campaign and in the summer of 2020 she organised Colchester’s first Black Lives Matter protest.
“We are commonly made to believe that in the UK racism does not exist. I hope the Black Lives Matter movement educates people and allows people to acknowledge that not only does change need to happen but the whole system must be demolished. We need to start again,” she said.