Kameron Pyant, a fifth year English major, has been working for the Cross Cultural Center (CCC) since the fall of 2016, which was his freshman year. He has hosted a plethora of events for the CCC such as “Speak yo Truth” and “Unapologetically Black.” Pyant has also organized a couple protests this past summer in the wake of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s deaths.
Q: What got you interested in activism?
A: The abundance of social injustices inflicted upon Black, Indigenous, and people of color is what drives me to be a persistent activist, being that we still are and always have been fighting for freedom, equity, and equality. We must stay adamant regarding this fight because systematic oppression and racism will not dismantle itself – and for so long as it has been ingrained into our world and society. It won’t be over night that we find our answers to obtain the peace and freedom that we so desperately seek – it has always been a tedious battle where we constantly chip at what they lawfully instilled although our rights have always been compromised and negated.
Q: You have been heavily involved in the CSUSB Black community for a long time. How has that experience been?
A: It’s been a million things: interesting, hilarious, disheartening…but, overall, I gained much love and respect for the Black community at CSUSB; the Black students, BFSSA, and other students who don’t identify but are loving and supportive members of the dismantle oppression community have made this an experience to never forget. I wish them nothing but happiness and success at CSUSB and any other future endeavor.
Q: You recently have put together a few protests over the summer. Can you detail those experiences?
A: They were empowering. It was every ethnicity, every gender, every age. I hate that so many generations have had to constantly fight this fight, as opposed to receiving the comfortability, justice, and freedom they and their people deserve. You appreciate the time and effort people put in – there were those who threw hate, someone might flip us off, tell us to go home, say something inhumane about the people we’re honoring and demanding justice for, but you don’t mind the ignorant; it was those who were willing to stand and support in their sincerest form, or dropped off food and water, people went out and planned other marches and protest – those people and moments nullified all hate and made you want to keep going.
Q: What obstacles have you been faced with being an activist as well as a student?
A: Everything is time consuming and there’s a million things to get done. I find myself at times more invested in ways to improve the world around me and then I manage school as best I could, or vice versa. I feel I’m constantly searching for balance to where I don’t get overwhelmed. Also, you see a lot of things for what they are and just learn to navigate and change what you can.
Q: What would you say is the importance of what you do?
A: The more people you connect with, the more people you are going to meet who want to make a change. Future generations don’t deserve a world like this. You can’t sit by and act like any of this is acceptable. People protested the wrongful murder of Breonna Taylor during a pandemic – and Daniel Cameron, instead, charged the murderers for wanton endangerment – Derek Chauvin wickedly killed George Floyd by placing his knee on his neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds – he’s out on bail now and, interesting enough, people don’t understand why the world looks and functions the way it does. There’s zero empathy for each other – it’s honestly two different worlds we’re living in and one world has oppressed the other for far too long when God’s given Earth is demanding tranquility.
Q: How do you stay motivated in these times? What keeps you going?
A: Time can really fly. You gotta make sure you appreciate now – but praying everyday helps. My family and friends deserve the world and I gotta do my part and make sure we get everything we want – also music soothes the soul. I appreciate how God allowed there to be so many genres because you can maneuver through the world’s chaos to the soundtrack of your choice. Another thing that keeps me going is knowing how we only get one chance at life – however long I’m here, I’ll be trying something to improve what I can. You gotta be happy and try to make sure those you care about are, too.
Q: What is your future career path?
A: A professor, author, artist, rapper, astronaut, professional basketball, state legislator, or I may be an elected official and then later try for presidency. I’m unsure what else the world has in store for me, but the plan is to be free, happy, and successful.
Q: What words of encouragement would you give to everybody right now?
A: Whatever you do, keep it rolling. Appreciate life and know that there are going to be days when you’re at odds – but make sure you keep it rolling. Know you deserve exactly what you believe you deserve, and I know you can do whatever you need to to obtain what you want. If you feel no one does, know that I do. Also, to keep making/creating change and being the people the world needs – because some people don’t even care to make it into Heaven anymore.