Last year, Anya Dillard earned a place on Teen Vogue's 21 Under 21 list for her commitment to organizing and community engagement. This year, she was honored as a "Young Frontrunner" by Because of Them, a global media platform centered on representation. You can learn more about Dillard and her latest award on Rutgers-Newark's Instagram page, which shines a spotlight on RU-N students.
Dillard, a student journalism and video production major and student in the Honors Living Learning College (HLLC), has a long history of activism, despite her youth.
She is the founder of The Next Gen Come Up – a 501(c)3 nonprofit that encourages young people to explore activism, pursue community service, and raise awareness through creative expression. In West Orange, she is known for helping to organize the town's largest civil rights protest and co-organizing its first-ever Juneteenth Celebration.
Here's what Dillard told BOTWC:
"I envision a future where people of all genders, colors, and creeds can feel empowered in their identities; where Black boys and girls everywhere can walk into any room and feel seen and accepted for being their beautifully bold, authentic selves. I look forward to a future where Black liberation has actually been achieved, but I am also constantly aware that there is a lot of work left to be done...”