Khady Gueye first became the target of online racist abuse after a Black Lives Matter protest she organised was met with opposition by some people in her hometown.
A year on, the 25-year-old is still glad she did it, but says the abuse she’s received has got more frequent.
Despite this, she says she doesn’t regret making a stand and will continue to do so.
“It’s changed my life entirely,” she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.
‘No-one was talking about it’
This time last year, Black Lives Matter demonstrations were popping up all over the world, in response to the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
But Khady felt that “no-one was talking about it” where she lived in Lydney, Gloucestershire.
“Outraged and upset”, as the footage of George Floyd’s death circulated online, she decided to organise her own local protest.
“I wanted to highlight this tragedy for black communities in the area I live in, where discussions about race and racial justice just don’t happen,” she said.
The town council tried to block the demonstration from happening. The UK was still in a national lockdown and they told Khady they were worried about the spread of coronavirus.
But after getting threats and abuse about it online – including in the comments section of her local MP’s Facebook page – Khady suspected racism may be part of the reason.
The protest went ahead after the town council backed down, but Khady is keen to move away from a period she says “fractured” the local community.
“It was controversial in this area, everyone knows that,” she says.
“I feel that we’ve made progress in the sense that the conversations are still happening. Whether they are positive or negative, to make any real tangible change it starts with a conversation.”
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