Montclair, NJ – The Essex County Board of Commissioners, during their annual Essex County Celebrates Youth Event, honored Montclair High School senior Genesis Whitlock for her service and leadership in the Montclair community. The ceremony aims to acknowledge and encourage outstanding young people throughout Essex County.
Genesis was sponsored and introduced by lifelong Montclair resident and Commissioner At-Large Brendan W. Gill. The Board also recognized Elina Brahmandam of Livingston, Jaylene Rivera of Newark, and the Abbott Leadership Institute of Newark.
Genesis is a senior at Montclair High School and serves in a multitude of extracurricular capacities including President of the Montclair High School Student Coalition, President of the Montclair NAACP Youth Council, Student Activist Coordinator for Amnesty International, and is the first Student Representative on Montclair’s Board of Education.
In addition to her extracurricular activities, she has been extremely active in the fight for social justice. Last summer, she organized a march of over 6,000 people to address racial inequities within the school system, and assisted in drafting the Montclair district-wide anti-racism policy. Since January 2020, she has advocated for desegregating classrooms, Black Leadership throughout the district, pluralistic curriculum, and anti-racism training for all teachers. She has also hosted numerous community dialogues centered around social and racial justice.
“Genesis is a shining example of the impact our youth can have when they aspire to be leaders in our community.” Commissioner Gill stated, “She has accomplished so much at such a young age, and her passion for justice and equal representation is inspiring. I was happy to sponsor her for recognition before the Board, and proud to acknowledge that we share the same hometown.”
As she moves to the next chapter, Genesis hopes that her active involvement in the school community will inspire other marginalized students from challenging backgrounds to affirm themselves and speak up.
Minister Andrew Johnson from St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair delivered prayers during the occasion, and the audience was captivated by the musical talents of three siblings – Mecadon, Zuri, and Ava McCune.