Community members committed to changing the system from within by running in local elections
FARGO & WEST FARGO, N.D. — As a black woman, Ritchell Aboah of Fargo says she knows the feeling of being underrepresented all too well.
“If I see that I am being represented, I see that I can trust the government to do what is best for me, and I think that’s what we’re missing here in Fargo when we’re looking at the Commissioner Board.”
That’s why she decided to run for Fargo City Commissioner — the only person of color of the seven candidates.
“In order to change the system, sometimes we need to be a part of a system,” she says.
Aboah was one of the organizers of Fargo’s peaceful protest following George Floyd’s death, but says the conversation can’t stop there.
“Just talking about it sometimes isn’t enough. Just bringing awareness to it sometimes isn’t enough. Sometimes we just need to go and be a part of those who are the decision-makers, so our voice is heard at that table that this is not working anymore.”
Matuor Alier of Fargo agrees and says our education system is the starting point to ensure all children have the same chances of success.
It’s why he’s running to be on the West Fargo School Board — also the only minority of the eight candidates.
“[If you] want to change something, be part of it to change something,” Alier says.
According to the district’s 2018-2019 annual report, 26 percent of West Fargo Public School students are children of color.
Alier believes they’re not being represented.
“These children truly don’t need handouts. They need hands up right now to be able to keep up with their peers and do well in life and be part of this community.”
Both Alier and Aboah say now is the time to shift from conversation to action.
Candidates running for Fargo City Commission:
Candidates running for West Fargo School Board: