Tiana Day, teen who led Golden Gate Bridge Black Lives Matter protest, shares how life has changed

ByAlix Martichoux and Ken Miguel KGO logo
Friday, December 18, 2020
Teen who led Golden Gate Bridge protest shares how life has changed
When Tiana Day told her family she was leading a Black Lives Matter protest across the Golden Gate Bridge, her dad started calling his friends to come. He didn't want his daughter to be left marching alone. Well, we all know that's not what happened.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As we wrap up 2020, ABC7 is taking a moment to reflect on the stories we've told and the people we've met throughout the year. To read all 13 incredible stories, check out our interactive project here.

How was 2020 for Tiana Day? "The complete opposite" of how she planned, she says.

For starters, COVID-19 derailed her senior year of high school. She graduated at a YouTube ceremony and put off college because of the pandemic. She was going to cheer in college, but that's not the plan anymore, either.

FACING 2020: The people who defined the Bay Area this year

"I replaced that passion with activism," Day says. "I have this newfound love for getting involved."

For a newbie, her first attempt at activism was a smashing success. Over the summer, the 17-year-old led a Black Lives Matter march across the Golden Gate Bridge. She and her co-organizer, 19-year-old Mimi Zoila, threw together a plan in less than 24 hours. They got a permit for 50 to 300 people.

"My dad was trying to get all his friends (to come) because he thought it was going to be crickets and no one was going to be there," she says.

Well, we all know that's not what happened.

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Thousands showed up to show their support. The line of protesters stretched at least four miles, Day estimates.

"This was all in the first week of my activism. That was the first protest I led on my own."

Admittedly, that march was a tough act to follow, but Day doesn't let that discourage her. She has already founded a nonprofit, Youth Advocates for Change, which champions a variety of youth-led causes.

"We need to speak on climate change, we need to talk about Black Lives Matter, we need to talk about LGBTQ rights, women's rights, and all the marginalized communities and we need to bring attention to it."

She knows her generation has their work cut out for them, but Day has gotten off to a running start.

We spoke to 12 more people who had a life-changing 2020, from COVID-19, to the California fires to the Black Lives Matter movement. Click here to read their stories.