2000 Mario Savio Student Activist Award Honoree
Jed Kinnison is an eighteen year old senior at Santa Rosa High School. Jed’s interest in civil liberties was sparked last year by the Santa Rosa School Board’s banning of Luis Rodriguez’s autobiography, Always Running. He composed an essay on the school board’s breech of the First Amendment and entered it in the Sonoma chapter’s student essay contest where he received an Honorable Mention.
Jed then successfully applied to the ACLU of Northern California’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) of the Howard A. Friedman First Amendment Education Project. As a member of the YAC, he participated last summer in a nine-day youth field investigation of homelessness in California. “The experiences I had on the trip inspired me to become an activist in the ACLU” Jed stated. As a member of the YAC, Jed helped organize and participated in two youth conferences in Berkeley and Stockton, speaking to fellow students on issues impacting youth. Jed has spoken at high schools and at the annual ACLU of Northern California conference about the experiences he had on the summer trip, on conditions in prisons, and about the juvenile crime initiative (Prop. 21). Jed worked with members of local organizations to start a Sonoma County wide school walkout on the day prior to the election to protest against Prop. 21.
While Jed plans to continue to be active in the ACLU, his life is more than just school and activism. He plays on Santa Rosa High School’s soccer and tennis teams, plays clarinet in the school’s jazz band and was selected to the All Northern California band.