Samuel Getachew is a 15-year-old poet, activist, and organizer from Oakland, California.
Using poetry as a way to shine light on contemporary issues as well as an personal outlet for emotion, Samuel has had the opportunity to perform his poetry in places ranging from Google's Incarceration Summit to the Oakland March For Our Lives. He has spoken at events featuring artists, writers, activists, and officials including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jose Antonio Vargas, Khaled Hosseini, Zendaya, Alice Waters, Brittany Packnett, and numerous California senators.
His poetry has garnered over half a million views online, and been reposted by prominent figures such as Sarah Silverman and Phoebe Tonkin. He has been published in Pop-Up Magazine and as a part of the SF Curran's play Bright Star, and his work has been featured by National Public Radio (NPR), KQED, KTVU News, Voice of America, and more.
Samuel was a part of the team that represented the Bay Area at the Brave New Voices (BNV) Festival, the largest youth poetry competition in the world, in 2017, where he and his team were ranked within the top 8 in the world. He is the 2017 and 2018 Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam Grand Slam Champion and the 2018 Oakland Youth Vice Poet Laureate.
Offstage, Samuel is a student at Oakland Technical High School and one of the most prominent youth activists and organizers in the Bay Area. He is a member of Bay Area Student Activists (BAStA), a co-founder of his school's Student Activism Club, and was a lead organizer for the highly publicized March 14th walkout at his school, where thousands attended and hundreds of students were registered to vote. Samuel is also an editor for the long-standing student run publication known as The Scribe. He is an ambassador for the youth voting initiative Eighteen x 18, founded by Yara Shahidi.