17-year-old Aarushi Pant is an avid lover of animals, music, film, and writing. She’s also a queer woman of color who uses her own experience to do good in the world for others. “My journey through the realm of social justice has been shaped by the work of the powerful women who continue to inspire me today,” she said.
“My journey through the realm of social justice has been shaped by the work of the powerful women who continue to inspire me today.”
In her continued commitment to social good, Aarushi is inspired by women activists’ bravery, particularly their ability to share their stories. “I realized that I had the same power to share my stories and those of others, through my writing and my actions,” she recalled.
Now, Aarushi is the Founder of Spectrum, where she manages a team of writers who publish articles covering LGBTQ issues. She is also the Founder of Women Inspiring Social Harmony (WISH), a free summer mentorship program for underprivileged middle school girls. As a passionate activist, she amplifies the voices of underrepresented communities, such as women and queer youth.
“I believe that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally in society."
As an exceptional Gen Z’er using her voice for good, she was honored for her work in the Human Rights space through The ConversationaLIST. She believes that being able to speak your truth is a powerful tool for activism. “I believe that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally in society and be provided with the resources and support that they need to be successful,” she said. “Just seeing the light in our mentees' or summer camp attendees' eyes makes me so inspired to keep doing what I do. I want everyone to feel like they belong and that they are never alone in their journeys.”
Aarushi encourages those who are still seeking to find their voice to take time to find themselves. “Spend time learning about who you are, your passions, what makes you smile and laugh and happy and excited, and you'll find your voice,” she said.
Going forward, Aarushi looks forward to graduating college and studying international law in graduate school. “I hope to be remembered as someone who wanted to help others and was always there to listen and provide love and support,” she said.
Aarushi thinks that people’s power lies in their voices and that The Conversationalist's mission of amplifying voices and tackling important social justice issues aligns with her advocacy work. “I'm so excited to meet like-minded activists and learn from their journeys,” she said about the community.
For Aarushi, a unified world is one in which people see each other for who they are, listen to each other's voices and perspectives, and people can be themselves without judgment. She hopes to see Gen Z work toward building this by not being afraid to sit back and listen to others.
To break open her echo chambers, Aarushi talks to new people and people with whom she might disagree. She urges everyone to venture out and explore. “I love talking about books, music, movies, and social issues as well,” she said.
“Know when a conversation isn't going anywhere and know when to end it.”
When it comes to approaching difficult conversations, Aarushi tries to stay calm and pick her battles. “Know when a conversation isn't going anywhere and know when to end it,” she said. “Be sure you're prepared and in the right headspace beforehand.”