When 17-year-old Hannah Hinton found herself in the middle of a police shooting, she was determined to prove that she could not be defeated.
The University of Ottawa student was standing on the sidewalk when she was shot by a police officer, but she did not hesitate to take a selfie.
She posted the image to her Instagram account, captioned it with the caption: “The first one to take that selfie is me.”
The photo went viral, inspiring others to take photos and posting them on social media.
The young woman from Ottawa says she has a few moments like that on Instagram.
But it’s something that she is still learning to cope with.
“It’s not just about the moments of self-love, self-confidence, and self-empowerment that are important,” she said.
“But I think it’s the idea that you can fight through anything.
That it can be defeated.”
Hannah Hensons journey from being a little girl to a high school senior with an art background to become a teacher The photo is one of those moments Hannah Hinkson says she doesn’t have to look back to to see what she has accomplished.
“That’s what it is about,” she explained.
“We can see that we can make a difference, and that’s what I really value.
It’s not about being the hero or being a heroine.
It is about making a difference.”
Hannah is one student at the University of Waterloo who has experienced the power of her work in the arts.
Her story was told in a TED talk, “The Girl with the Artful Face.”
She was a young girl living in Hamilton, Ont.
during the early 1970s, when the city’s police force used to be called the Hamilton Police Service.
Hannah’s father, John Hinksons, said she had the opportunity to see firsthand the problems faced by young black men during the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1970s and 1980s.
“I saw it firsthand,” he said.
“[She] could have been my son.
She could have lived a better life.
But she did it.”
The young girl says she is proud to have been a part of Hannah’s story, but also to have her voice heard.
“There are a lot of young people out there who are not having the same opportunities,” she added.
“The way we’re being raised in this country is a failure.
It makes us weak, and it makes us vulnerable.”
Hannah says she was able to change her behaviour and start making a positive impact in her community.
“As a young woman, I was just trying to make it,” she recalled.
“Because it wasn’t a problem that could be solved with drugs or guns.
It was just a problem of me.”
Hannah was eventually arrested by police and charged with drug possession.
She was found not guilty, but was then forced to leave her home.
She said she felt isolated from her family and school, and even from her closest friends, who were also charged with crimes for taking part in a drug deal.
Hannah said she was a strong woman in her early 20s, but found herself feeling a lack of confidence.
“You start to see a pattern where it’s just the same thing over and over again,” she continued.
“And then you just stop and think, ‘What the hell am I doing here?'”
Hannah Hints at the role of social media Hannah Hinsons hopes to inspire others to fight against racism and police brutality in her lifetime.
“A lot of the social media stuff, I just think that’s the way it’s done now,” she elaborated.
“Every time someone does something wrong, that’s going to be retweeted and every time someone is the victim of police brutality, that is going to spread.”
Hannah said that she wants to change the way we view young people of colour.
“People have been talking about it for years and years, but I think now people are really aware of what they are doing,” she told the CBC.
“When you start to look at it from the perspective of someone who grew up in the same environment, it’s not easy.”
Hannah has set her sights on changing how we see people of different backgrounds.
“In my opinion, I want to change how we look at people,” she concluded.
“So that when you see somebody that’s different, you say, ‘That’s me, too.
I can do that.'”
Hannah’s advice to others to “be positive” and to take action Hannah Hinkons is one person who Hannah Hids hopes to change for the better.
“Be positive,” she advises young people who are struggling with racism and policing.
“Don’t look back.
Don’t be a victim.”
“When I see that somebody is being a victim, I feel like I can turn that around and I can actually get a lot done.”
Hints about being a good role model for others to follow