PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Young people are emerging as some of the strongest leaders in fighting racism in the Pittsburgh region.

Two teenagers who just graduated from high school this year are leading what they call “Civil Saturday Protests.”

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Bakery Square in the East End of Pittsburgh filled with hundreds of protestors, more than Treasure Palmer and Nick Anglin ever imagined when they advertised their first protest on social media.

“We want to make sure that when you come to the protests, you’re taking something home with you,” Anglin said. “That you could take some dialogue home with you and talk with your friends, your families, your grandparents about what you learned at the protest today.”

It makes sense that their organization is called Black, Young & Educated. Anglin and Palmer started it a year and a half ago when they were students at Oakland Catholic and Central Catholic high schools to get their voices heard and uplift others.

(Photo Credit: Provided)

Both say they have experienced racism at school.

Treasure said of the black and white students, “They’re not interacting with each other. So there’s just people going off stereotypes and just saying, ‘Oh, it’s just what I see on TV. I assume this is how you are’ before you even get to know me.”

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Anglin said, “I was called the n-word and the person that called me that laughed. They laughed and they thought it was a joke. They thought I would be laughing along with them but I was not.”

Palmer and Anglin encourage people at their rallies to email their state legislators to change the Pennsylvania use of force law.

They say sometimes people don’t want to listen because they’re teenagers, but leaders in the black community are supporting them all the way.

“I cannot blame the older generation for being tired because they had to deal with this for years upon years. We’re fresh and we’re new to our time to pick up the fight,” Anglin said.

Black, Young & Educated is holding this weekend’s protest in front of City Hall in downtown Pittsburgh at 3 p.m.

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Kristine Sorensen