While filling out his Stanford University application, Ziad Ahmed was asked “What matter to you, and why?” and he could only think of one thing: #BlackLivesMatter.
So Ahmed decided to write #BlackLiveMatter exactly 100 times on his application, and this past Friday he received his acceptance letter.
“I was actually stunned when I opened the update and saw that I was admitted,” Ahmed, who is a senior at Princeton Day School in New Jersey, said in an email. “I didn’t think I would get admitted to Stanford at all, but it’s quite refreshing to see that they view my unapologetic activism as an asset rather than a liability.”
Ahmed has since posted his acceptance letter and answer on Twitter, which now has over 2,000 likes and over 700 retweets.
“My unapologetic progressivism is a central part of my identity, and I wanted that to be represented adequately in my application,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed insists that his Islamic faith and obligation to justice are connected. He feels that if he ignored the injustices happening in black communities, he wouldn’t be practicing his religion correctly.
“To me, to be Muslim is to be a BLM ally, and I honestly can’t imagine it being any other way for me,” Ahmed said. “Furthermore, it’s critical to realize that one-fourth to one-third of the Muslim community in America are black … and to separate justice for Muslims from justices for the black community is to erase the realities of the plurality of our community.”