Activist senior empowers others to fight for change

Callier Creedle has spent the majority of his life fighting for his beliefs and opinions. Starting with the fight against standardized testing, Creedle worked with teachers and parents who were fed up with only teaching test preparation. From there, he attended McCallum High School and halfway thru his highschool career, became the president of Model U.N. "I believe in country unity, but it must be done without validating divisivness and racism."

Callier Creedle has spent the much of his life fighting for his beliefs and opinions. Starting with the fight against standardized testing, Creedle worked with teachers and parents who were fed up with only teaching test preparation. From there, he attended McCallum. Halfway thru his high school career, became the president of Model U.N. “I believe in country unity, but it must be done without validating divisiveness and racism.” Photo by Kien Johnson-Dye.

A suit and tie, a mop of curly hair and a passion for politics like no other.

That, in a nutshell, is Callier Creedle, a senior and prominent voice in the McCallum political sphere. Students who know him well say that his intellect and experience in politics and current events makes him not only interesting but also a teacher and mentor for high school students who are looking to become more active in their communities.

Creedle began his political interest back in his days at Kealing with an activist group known as Occupy AISD. After middle school, he attended McCallum and joined the Model U.N. club, where he learned more about global issues, not only those in his local community.

In his junior year, Creedle became the president of Model United Nations and in his senior year, president of another political club at McCallum known as the MAC Justice Coalition. In these leadership roles, Creedle helped many students find their political sides and intellectual voices.

One of those students, freshman Diego Gutierrez, said Creedle has inspired him to become more involved in political activism.

“Cal [Callier] is my mentor,” Gutierrez said. “He’s very resourceful, and he believes in what’s right.”

During his eighth grade year in middle school, when Creedle participated in Occupy AISD, he joined students, teachers and parents in lobbying for less testing and more learning in Austin schools. He was featured in the Austin Chronicle for testifying in front of the board of AISD trustees against standardized tests.

Creedle's involvement in Model United Nations helped him expand his perspective from local to global issues. Photo by Liam Wilson.

Creedle’s involvement in Model United Nations helped him expand his perspective from local to global issues. Photo by Liam Wilson.

“People say the children are our future,” Creedle told the Chronicle then. “[The STAAR] seems to be preparing us for a future where rote memorization and bubbling in is all that matters. A future where real education is a thing of the past. I apologize, but I refuse to stand idly by while my future, the future of people I care about, hangs in the balance.”

On his third day of his freshman year at Mac, he arrived at school wearing a double­-breasted suit with a white shirt and red tie. The president of Model U.N. at the time was walking down the hall when he saw Creedle, examined his fancy clothing and told him that he would be perfect for the club. Creedle agreed and has ever since taken a heavy interest in the United Nations.

His experience has helped him become very knowledgeable about U.N. history.

“If you look at the United Kingdom, its [electoral system] went from a monarchy to an oligarchy to a true democracy,” Creedle said. “Our Model U.N. has followed this same pattern.”

As the sitting president of Model U.N., Creedle began expanding his base from intellectuals to activists, by helping organize the MAC Justice Coalition. The MAC Justice Coalition was a group of McCallum students who needed a place to vent their thoughts and feelings, plan protests and volunteer for communities. Between 10-15 students met up on Wednesdays after school as part of the MAC Justice Coalition.  At first, the group discussed major current issues such as the presidential election. Since the election has proven to be divisive, and a major topic was unity.

With exceptions, Creedle has said that he, “believes in country unity,” as long as it can be executed “without validating bigotry and racism.”

After Donald Trump won the election, the MAC Justice Coalition planned a school-wide walkout to protest his inauguration, and the sentiment that led them to organize the walkout would resonate with hundreds of McCallum students. The walkout garnered support from nearly three-hundred McCallum students who wanted to protest the Trump administration. The MAC Justice Coalition made this possible, and the event would not have happened without Creedle.

Creedle greets Mr. Featherstone after walking across the Frank Erwin Center stage at the commencement ceremony on Thursday. Photo by Dave Winter.

Creedle greets Mr. Featherstone after walking across the Frank Erwin Center stage at the commencement ceremony on Thursday. Photo by Dave Winter.

“What I want to do is help people educate themselves,” Creedle said. “[I want] to give them the tools to accomplish that, and when I think of combating ignorance, the person who I most look up to there is Howard Zinn. I’ve been to a lot of places where they tell you, ‘You have the power to change things in the world,’ and the real problem I have with those places is that they don’t give you the tools. … Zinn, through his writing, gave me the tools, and I’m much more confident in my beliefs now.”

While Creedle admires Zinn, he also has role­ models a little closer to home.  

“I [also] look up to some of the history teachers I’ve had,­­ Mr. Anderson, definitely and I believe I had a government teacher whom I admired for integrity and educational abilities.”

Creedle graduated with the rest of the Class on 2017 on Thursday morning. He will attend Austin College, a liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman.

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