How Shaniqua Deason, founder of Diaspora United, is helping raise awareness in the black community
By: Asia Cheyanne
In our early 20’s many of us are still figuring out what we want to do and how we can contribute to the world. This wasn’t the case for 23 year old, Shaniqua Deason. From racial tension and police brutality, Shaniqua knew there had to be something she could do to speak out against it and take action. Using her social media platform to speak on these issues, activist Shaniqua Deason created Diaspora United.
Read below how Shaniqua is raising awareness in the black community and how the young activist began her journey.
Shaniqua Deason is a 23 year old from East Texas. Deason graduated from College in 2015 with an associates degree in business administration. She was only a senior in high school when Trayvon Martin’s death rocked the nation and clouded the black community. Even though racially based crimes had happened before, this particular case opened the eyes of many of us or at least it reopened wounds of those who were alive and much younger during the Jim Crow Era or when the LA Riots of 1992 took place. This particular incident began social media movements and most people began speaking up on the issue through protests, City hall meetings, and so much more. This is when Shaniqua felt the need to use herself and platform to make a change.
Activism and Its Challenges
These sort of events are what provoked the activism of our parents and the racism we face today is what triggered Deason’s activism. After Trayvon’s death, awareness of the racial hostility in this country was no longer a thing she had the choice of ignoring. This is what ultimately piqued her interest in what she does now.
Since she has such a large platform and speaks out on such a sensitive subject, Shaniqua faces a lot of internet trolls and online racism. Though she doesn’t face much racism offline, she has had a recent encounter at her old job. With such a strenuous career path, Shaniqua has a great support system behind her. Her family and friends have been there through thick and thin. She has struggled with PTSD, chronic depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Through it all, her friends and family have been there to uplift her during the battling times.
Diaspora United, an organization that works to unite Black communities nationwide, launched last year. Founded in Dallas, Texas, Diaspora United is committed to making black communities safer, cleaner, bring awareness, and reinforce the beauty of blackness.
Diaspora recently held a clean up event this past April in Dallas, Texas where they cleaned up various neighborhoods and parks. In addition to the clean up event, last year they held a Gathering Feast during Thanksgiving and even a Juneteenth event at Glendale Park in Dallas.
Being an activist, on and offline, Shaniqua gained more people skills, confidence, and self awareness. She’s grateful for everything she’s learned because it made her a better person today.
Want to keep in touch with Shaniqua?
Visit DiasporaUnited.org or follow her on social media @HoodSocialist and @diasporaunited