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Dublin High Junior Inspires Community Through Diversity and Unity Project

October 10, 2020

DUBLIN, CA – The year of 2020 will be remembered for many things – unfortunately, many of them range from uncomfortable, to challenging to downright tragic. Our world has been confronted by a global pandemic. The country slid down the path of an economic recession. And our streets from towns both large and small were filled with people outraged over racial inequities and the depravation of human rights. As casualties from COVID-19 continued to pile up through the spring and summer, it was frequently difficult to find positive news. However, far before October, a Dublin High School student was determined to make this a moment of bonding. Her name is Acacia Tripplett and she elected to “be one of the roses that grow in the concrete.”

Acacia Tripplett with her mom, Natasha.

As a junior and active member of Leadership at DHS, Ms. Tripplett has earned the mantle of Diversity Ambassador. Following the proper protocols, she announced to her peers that she would engineer and execute the Our Dublin Diversity & Unity Shirts Project. In order to fulfill her plan of providing a t-shirt for every student and staff member at both Dublin and Valley High Schools, the task would require obtaining donations. In addition, she needed to identify a shirt vendor and to design a plan for distribution. All of this came to pass as distribution began this week on Wednesday as seniors returned to campus and drove through a car maze to receive their Our Dublin shirt.

We reached out to Acacia and met while socially distanced. Our objective was to have a greater understanding of how and why she championed this project. We are pleased to share her journey.

OneDublin.org: Help us to understand the genesis of this project. Please explain the goals that you were trying to achieve.

Acacia Tripplett: “A couple years ago, my Grandpa took me to a Warriors playoff game. As far as I could see, yellow shirts were put on all the chairs. When the fans began to pour in, we all got together and wore our shirts. We were all different genders, races and ages, but we were unified together for a common goal. As I remembered that feeling, I wanted to create a shirt for my own community that would let everyone feel a part of something. The idea for this project started back in May. I felt that the design of the shirt was something I wanted to bring to the school. Through the racial tensions and unrest that was swirling during the summer, I felt a sense of urgency to bring people together. My goal was to celebrate diversity in a way that unifies the community. The Golden State Warriors partnered with me in spreading this message by shooting a promotional video that encourages everyone to get their shirt. Thank you, Warriors!”

OneDublin.org: Once you established a plan and identified a vendor, the hard work of fundraising would begin. Please share your methodology for approaching groups/individuals for financial support. 

Tripplett: “The fundraising stemmed from a desire to provide these shirts to everyone. My way of approaching the different organizations was to explain the project to them. I worked closely with Dublin High School teacher Mr. Michael D’Ambrosio. He supported me and helped me brainstorm different groups to approach. As I contacted different people, I explained the project, where it came from, why I am doing it, what my goals were and what their donation would be funding. The response was amazing and some of them even got me in contact with other potential donors. I am so grateful to everyone who donated in order to allow this dream to become a reality.”

OneDublin.org: On the back of the t-shirt, a quote is very prominent. Please articulate how you decided upon this quote and express what this statement could mean to anyone that wears the shirt. More personally, why is this quote so powerful to you?

Tripplett: “Two years ago, I read the book, “The Hate U Give” and I was truly moved by the story. On the back of the shirt, is the quote by author Angie Thomas. “Your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be roses that grow in the concrete.” I decided that this quote was important to have on the back of the shirt because it captured the message of the shirt so perfectly. It validates everyone’s journey and story. I felt like it was such a great reminder that despite our hardships, there is the opportunity to blossom.”

The “Our Dublin” shirt volunteer distribution crew.

OneDublin.org:  This whole project has generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm by both students and staff. Please share some of the feedback that you have been receiving. 

Tripplett: “I have been so humbled and blessed by the amazing feedback and outpouring of support that I am getting in response to the Diversity and Unity shirt. Students have thanked me for bringing this shirt to Dublin High School, offered to help in any way possible, quickly reposted the flyer and within seconds, signed up to help distribute the shirts to their classmates. I really appreciate my fellow leadership students who have encouraged me and supported this initiative from day one. Community members have also poured in with such kind words and even financial contributions. I am truly grateful for everything and I am so excited for everyone to wear their shirt.”

OneDublin.org: Anything else you would like to add?

Tripplett: “This has been an amazing experience and I am in awe by the way “Our Dublin” has come together.”

OneDublin.org would like to thank Acacia Tripplett for the willingness to share some details from this very inspiring project. As we continue to tread through this tumultuous year, we hope that Acacia’s story is encouraging and filled with optimism. At minimum, her efforts have touched the hearts of every student and staff member at Dublin and Valley High Schools.

The Our Dublin shirts are now available for purchase by the community. All proceeds from shirt sales will go towards a scholarship fund. CLICK HERE to order a shirt or donate to the scholarship fund directly.

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