My Experience Volunteering with SF Rising

Aug 7, 2023 | Blog, Updates


Gena Bullio

As an incoming high school senior searching for new ways to fill my time, I discovered SF Rising and immediately reached out to volunteer. I had always been interested in social justice and organizing and wanted to find a way to get involved locally. Little did I realize the profound impact volunteering for SF Rising would have on my life; from learning to voice my opinions confidently to finding community and learning technical details about our justice system, the positives are endless. Over the past few months, I have attended numerous SF Rising gatherings and helped outreach to other volunteers to turn them out to events. Most notably in support of Sean Moore’s family in their fight for justice after SFPD officer Kenneth Cha shot Sean in his home in 2017, who later died from his injuries in 2020. Despite my interest, I had been apprehensive about engaging with political organizing until SF Rising introduced me to a supportive group of people passionately fighting for change and equality. My peers welcomed me and exemplified dedication to creating a friendly and productive environment, inspiring me to further engage with SF Rising. 

In May, I helped set up for a gathering where Sean’s family spoke on their story, shedding light on the inequity embedded within the legal system and DA Brooke Jenkins’ failure to hold the officer accountable for Sean’s death. Hearing firsthand accounts of injustice empowered me to fight for Sean Moore and against racial inequality on a broader scale. Protests, gatherings, and outreach occupied my attention in the months following as we demanded Jenkins hold Kenneth Cha accountable for Sean Moore’s death. We gathered at the Hall of Justice to demonstrate our demand for the case’s progression, and when the DA dismissed it, we resisted. Shortly after receiving the news, we organized a protest where I felt accomplished exercising my ability to stand up for what I believe in. Spirited speeches and mutual devotion fostered feelings of empathy and stimulated introspection as I acknowledged my obligation as a citizen to fight for justice. SF Rising aims to strengthen political power for working-class communities and communities of color while holding elected leaders responsible for implementing policies that prioritize racial, economic and environmental justice. 

Collective efforts – like the ones I took part in with SF Rising to get justice for Sean Moore – are crucial to the fight against racial discrimination. Together we can effect change to improve the lives of many and demand justice for those wronged by a biased system. SF Rising is always looking for new volunteers willing to stand against racially-motivated crimes and fight for a more just community. Come join me in this fight by signing up to be a volunteer today!

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