Anya Dillard: The Civil Activist of Tomorrow


In honor of Black history month, I found it imperative to shine a light on a someone who doesn’t receive the credit she deserves. West Orange native, Anya Dillard is an entrepreneur, as well as an content creator. I recently interviewed the 16 year old civil activist and publicist to discover what she has in store for the world. 

Taylor-Kamara: I noticed you run a company called “nextgencu”Can you explain to me the mission of your company?

Dillard : The Next Gen Come Up is a web magazine dedicated to spreading awareness about social and political issues that are affecting this generation, in creative ways.

I: As the CEO of the company, how hard do you find it for your content to reach your audience?

A: In terms of gaining exposure, I feel as though it’s gotten easier overtime. As time went by, I learned more about the importance of networking and making connections with other young leaders and innovators. The support from my friends, colleagues, and even family members helped me get started and allowed me to gain a following that has given me a good foundation. It takes a lot of time to successfully push content, but overall once you get it down to a science it becomes second nature

Taylor-Kamara: You mentioned that it takes a lot of time, I couldn’t help but ask how are you able to balance running a company and school?

Dillard: Time management and staying organized are my best friends. I’m constantly writing on calendars and keeping agendas to make sure I stay on track and that I spend ample time on everything. This helps prevent me from waiting until the last minute and it gives me enough time to make sure I put out my best work both in work and in school.

Taylor-Kamara:  Very few young black women can say they own a company. What advice would you give other young black women your age?

Dillard: A piece of advice I would give to other young black women would be…know that you are divine, and that your passions hold so much power. Often times when we as black women want to become leaders, creators, or change makers, there are so many things in society that tells us that we aren’t built for that, or we should just stop dreaming so big and settle. I encourage young girls of color to always find empowerment in society’s banter, because if you weren’t built brilliant no one would be trying to slow your roll or dim your shine. Stay strong, dream big, and always put your best foot forward as a person, because it will always pay off in the end.

Taylor-Kamara: Now that’s a powerful message. Clearly you are someone who’s  quite successful. Despite the accolades you have achieved thus far, how do you manage to stay humble? 

Dillard: I think it’s because I understand that my dream isn’t about me. Oftentimes when we aspire to be successful we think once we gain a following, money, and attention that we will finally be the best versions of ourselves. I’ve always felt differently. I don’t just want to grow a following to be looked at, I want to be able to share messages that will help make someone else’s life better; use my platform to help someone spread awareness about issues that could be affecting someone who doesn’t have one. So yea I’ve always just remembered that my goal is to help others, and seeing that I’ve been given a gift.. the ability to do such things, keeps me very humble.