Discussion and Activism at the Human Rights Club

Discussion and Activism at the Human Rights Club

Pavao jots down some television shows that exhibit positive media representation

Abigail Weinberg, Editor

Young activists are welcome to come discuss social issues both within the school and beyond at Franklin High School’s Human Rights Club.

Junior Olivia Pavao started the club in early January. She attended a Summer at Brown where she met students who had human rights clubs at their own schools, and was inspired to bring one to Franklin High School.

“We have the GSA, we have Anti-Bullying. Combining those and making them more inclusive of a lot of different people would better our school,” said Pavao.

Pavao structures the highly-attended meetings around in-depth PowerPoints that she makes weekly. Last week’s PowerPoint focused on media representation, then shifted to a discussion among the students in attendance.

Ms. Leardi, who oversees the club, has years of experience campaigning for human rights, and she expressed her support of the amount of work Pavao and her peers have put into the club.

Though Leardi was too young to participate in the civil rights movement, she said, “That era really touched me…It was radical, and to some extent it is still radical.”

Pavao and Leardi are now seeking to get the club a budget by having it sanctioned. Pavao said of the club, “I just want it to…increase the awareness of people to the problems of the world outside the Franklin bubble, and also just make it more community service oriented…and try to make a positive change as opposed to just discussing things.”

Potential implementations of Pavao’s plan include a viewing of the film Miss Representation, a fundraiser for the women’s shelter Rosie’s Place, and a Humans of Franklin High series à la Humans of New York.

The club is off to an excellent start and is always looking for new members to come by Friday afternoons in room 224 to join in its discussions and help plan its events.