My name is Ayana Wyse and I am a photographer and event organizer living in the Kansai region of Japan. I have always been for the community and raising awareness of Black culture in Japan, and I have learned a lot after having lived in this country for more than nine years.

Assisting with the creation of the Black Lives Matter Kansai group felt natural to me, as if I had a calling to do it more than anything else. I don’t care for any recognition or anything personal, I just feel that often when there’s no one there to step up and set something in motion, someone just needs to do it. With my experience in helping to found and work for a collective called Black Creatives Japan, I felt like I was the right person to do step up.

The process began with a couple of my friends posting a poll on Instagram to see who might be interested in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement with a peaceful march where we live. So, I responded and it was really as simple as that. Just like with my involvement in the Black Creatives Japan collective, it makes me happy to help and be a part of something greater than myself.