NEW JERSEY – A Muslim teen was admitted in Stanford University after writing #BlackLivesMatter 100 times in his application.
“To me, to be Muslim is to be a BLM ally, and I honestly can’t imagine it being any other way for me,” Ziad Ahmed told Mic.
“Furthermore, it’s critical to realize that one-fourth to one-third of the Muslim community in America are black … and to separate justice for Muslims from justices for the black community is to erase the realities of the plurality of our community.”
In an answer to the question “What matters to you, and why?” on his Stanford University application, Ahmed made his point clear over and over, writing #BlackLivesMatter 100 times.
The risky decision paid off. On Friday, Ahmed received his acceptance letter from Stanford.
I submitted this answer in my @Stanford application, & yesterday, I was admitted…#BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/R5YxM77bWL
— Ziad Ahmed (@ziadtheactivist) April 1, 2017
“I was actually stunned when I opened the update and saw that I was admitted,” Ahmed said in an email.
“I didn’t think I would get admitted to Stanford at all, but it’s quite refreshing to see that they view my unapologetic activism as an asset rather than a liability.”
On Saturday, Ahmed posted his answer and acceptance letter on Twitter with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The tweet now has over 3,200 retweets and over 6,600 likes at the time of writing.
“My unapologetic progressivism is a central part of my identity, and I wanted that to be represented adequately in my application,” Ahmed said.
As an ally of the black community, Ahmed said he felt it was his duty to make a statement and speak up against the injustices he witnesses.
“As an ally of the black community though, it is my duty to speak up in regards to the injustice, and while this was not a form of ‘activism’ as it was simply an answer in a college application,” he said.
“I wanted to make a statement.”
The Bangladeshi-American teen has already been making impressive waves in his activism work. At just 18 years old, Ahmed has already been invited to the White House Iftar dinner and recognized as an Muslim-American change-maker under the Obama administration.
In 2016, he interned and worked for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign after leading Martin O’Malley’s youth presidential campaign.
In November 2015, Ahmed gave a TedxTalk in Panama City, Panama, discussing the perils and impact of stereotypes as a young Muslim teen.