Edina senior honored for equity and faith-based activism
Olivia Pierce, a senior at Edina High School (EHS), was one of two recipients of the City of Edina Human Rights & Relations Commission's (HRRC) 2019 Tom Oye Award, which honors socially-minded residents and their pursuits of equity and fairness.
Pierce formed a faith-based student group at EHS to foster a more positive and compassionate climate in the school. She is also a member of the Black Student Union. As a speaker at the TEDxEdina event last year, she spoke on unconscious racial bias, specifically in organized Christianity. Her presentation has over 13,000 views on Youtube and is used at workshops to help participants become aware of and check their biases.
Pierce has also served on a volunteer medical team that traveled to Haiti. This health-focus came from watching the health struggles her younger sister had and has led Pierce to pursue a career in pediatrics. “She uses her voice as a young black woman to advocate for greater representation of people of color in her faith tradition, and her school community, and in service opportunities locally and abroad,” said presenter Caitlin Ellingen Friedemann.
The Tom Oye Award is given annually in honor of the late Tom Oye, a founding member of the Edina Human Rights and Relations Commission.