19-year-old activist helps spearhead youth-led Black Lives Matter movement

Shanzeh Ahmad:

A 2018 graduate of West High School, Obuseh comes from a military family and moved to Madison in 2016 after having lived in Germany for some six years. Her younger brother is about to start his sophomore year at West.

Before Germany, they lived in Delaware, Alabama and Georgia, where Obuseh was born in Atlanta. She said moving a lot as she was growing up taught her the importance of “finding structure within chaos.”

“I’m not the type of person to really get in the mix of things,” Obuseh said. “I feel like I can instead try to create a little bit of order.”

She said even though activism takes up a lot of her time, she is “still 19” and likes to hang out with friends and go outside and paint, and enjoys poetry and TED Talks.

She is a student at UW-Madison exploring her interests in law and healthcare but took some time off in the spring to focus on an internship at the Capitol and other roles, including creating the youth-led group Impact Demand. Obuseh said she and some of her peers who she used to protest with in high school wanted to organize for the Black Lives Matter movement and show the community where youths stand.

Why is it important to get the youth voice out there?

The youth is the future. The youth are the people that are living through all the policies that are being created. A lot of people you see protesting will be the loudest people in the room, or at the Capitol, but not making any legislation. A lot of things don’t get done in terms of writing the legislation and holding people accountable. We have all this energy, and now it’s directed energy towards a purpose. In terms of our group, I helped to spearhead the policy action. We still have a lot more to do and a long way to go, but we’re putting the work in.

Do you find it hard for people to take the youth seriously?

I think people support the youth vocally and make it seem like they take it seriously but not on the ballot where it matters or monetarily. The youth right now has the energy, the motivation and the will to educate themselves and others to make this movement stronger. I feel like if you see somebody younger than you doing something bigger than themselves, that has an impact. A lot of the older generations are coming around and realizing that we need to be able to have the floor. We’ll always need them to mentor and give us advice, but let the youth be empowered. I think that’s the biggest thing right now is just letting us take the lead and allowing us to move with our energy and momentum towards policy.

What are Impact Demand’s goals?

The biggest goal is to see accountability across the board, whether it be in the police department, in hospitals, in housing. Our group, Impact Demand, we demand action. We demand change immediately. I want to see policies in place because we deserve more as a community. Change should be immediate, things like town halls and civilian oversight. At the end of the day, we’re all in this community and all want the best for ourselves. We all want to live equally and live freely, and it takes everyone to do that.

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration