Nyteia Tyler, a third-year student at the University of San Francisco, is a campus leader working towards social justice in communities of color, predominantly black communities. She served as an Esther-Madriz Diversity Scholar, focusing on social justice, community organizing and the intersections of hip-hop through a sociological lens. Through this program, she interned at San Francisco Rising, an electoral alliance that builds political power of working class communities of color. Nyteia worked on the "College For All" campaign in its first pitch for the November 2018 ballot to make tuition free for California residents at state colleges and universities. She serves as the social justice chair for the Advocacy Committee under the Associated Students USF Senate, where she helps coordinate student led social justice initiatives and oversees the Green Initiative Fund for Tomorrow (GIFT) in support of environmental reforms. She's also the Community Engagement Intern for the South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN), a community-based organization serving low-income, immigrant youth and families; her work with SOMCAN is through the Community Empowerment Activist program of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at USF. In addition, she serves on the board of the Black Student Union and as the President of Esther-Madriz Activist Scholars Club.
Since the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012, I was compelled to engage in social action. I was drawn to the University of San Francisco's unique location and role as a Jesuit institution in fostering a more just society. My experience and exposure to social issues and community organizing has helped me build a foundation for my role as a campus and community leader. Working with the Black Student Union, I found my true identity, passion and motivation through our work to uplift, inspire, and advocate for black communities on and off campus. Learning about the root causes of social problems, and working with housing rights, transit justice, and voter engagement organizations for systemic solutions has shaped me into the growing activist I am. I want to strengthen my advocacy skills, hold decision makers accountable, and use my voice to make a difference. We must push forth equity and equality in education, the workforce, and society as a whole. I want to help increase representation in ALL fields and show people how much we can make a difference if we unite and take collective action. As a first-generation, low-income black woman from Detroit, I believe anything is possible.