Our Stories: Zillah Wesley II

Inequality is everywhere, if we look closely enough. At least, that’s what Zillah Wesley has experienced, and what has motivated her to get involved in faith and social justice work with the World Student Christian Federation.

Growing up in Washington D.C., Zillah Wesley saw inequality first-hand in the school system. When she went to work with her father, an inner-city art teacher, she noticed a very different environment than she experienced at private school.

“I saw disparities,” she explained. “I had the epiphany that because of money, people were having different surroundings and different outcomes.”

Something stirred inside of her.

Fast forward to today, where she has joined in the struggle for equality both in the United States and abroad through her work with WSCF, as Communications Chair on the WSCF-NA Regional Committee.

It was just over one year ago, when Zillah and a team from WSCF travelled down to the United States and Mexico border in solidarity with Latin American migrants.

“The Border Solidarity trip gave me a new view on immigration – it’s not really a black and white issue,” she said. “They have taken the humanity out of a whole group of people.”

During the trip, she joined with hundreds of others to hold a vigil and rally outside Eloy Immigrant Detention Center, a private and controversial jail in Arizona known for holding Latin American migrants. The vigil was in memory of the 15 people who died while in detention at the facility since 2003 – with a rally in solidarity with the prisoners.

“It was intense. Thousands of people were there. You could see the shadows [of the prisoners] through the windows. They were waving their blankets and making noise.” She also attended a vigil on the US-Mexico border. As participants gathered together from both sides of the border, she joined the vigil from Mexico,

“A lot of people are about their own country, and nationalism. We are a global society, it shouldn’t be like that,” she explained. “WSCF has helped me get an international perspective on issues.They are working for love and humanity.”

“Social justice through a Christian lens is important, and I feel a lot of people forget about that. Jesus was out on the streets, you know. Jesus was with the people, about the people.”