Zyahna Bryant is a student activist and community organizer who works on issues of Racial Justice in Charlottesville, VA. She founded the Black Student Union at her high school and is a member of the Charlottesville Youth Council. At the age of 12, she organized her first demonstration, a rally for Justice for Trayvon Martin and other unarmed black lives lost to police violence.

In the Spring of 2015, Zyahna spoke as a panelist advocating for funding of Public education and grants alongside local organizers and Bernie Sanders at his budget Town Hall in Charlottesville. Later that fall, Zyahna created the Black Student Union and began serving as the chair where she is currently in her third year serving. In the Spring of 2016, Zyahna wrote the petition to the Charlottesville City Council calling for the removal of the Lee Statue and Renaming of the park formerly known as Lee Park.

In 2017, The Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the Statues. Zyahna continues to organize with local teens and youth leaders to create change around issues of race and inequity. Her primary focus is on the achievement gap and equal access for students of color.

In January of 2019, Zyahna published a book, a collection of poetry and essays titled, “Reclaim.”

Zyahna has been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker Magazine, CNN, and Vice News.

Additional Media:

Teen Vogue 


The New York Times

Awards and Recognitions

2018 Washington, DC Princeton Prize in Race Relations


2018 Student Stowe Prize from the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, for social justice writing with a tangible impact.

2018 Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement

Zyahna was listed in Cville Weekly’s 2018 List of Powerful People

Follow Zy on Social Media:

Instagram – @zysaidso

Twitter: @zyahnab