What is Human Rights Club?

What is Human Rights Club?

Carolyn Fenerty & Angela Baker

Human Rights Club is a relatively new club at FHS, started last year by current senior Olivia Pavao. But what exactly is Human Rights Club?

At the meeting, Olivia and some of the other officers began a discussion on Malala Yousafzai, because a new movie about her story was premiering that week. After a brief overview of Malala and the movie, Olivia opened the meeting to discussion, inviting all of the club members to chime in with their thoughts and questions.

After the meeting, Olivia and Surbhi Bector answered some questions about Human Rights Club, shedding light on its founding, purpose, and goals for the future.

When asked about why she decided to form Human Rights Club, Olivia said:

“It started when I did a gender psych course at Brown, the summer before junior year. I was with a bunch of other people who think of themselves as feminists and try to support human rights, and a lot of them were presidents of or had human rights clubs or some similar type of club at their schools. And I thought that was a really interesting thing and I was upset that we didn’t have one; we had the GSA, but that was as far as it went.

“I thought that was something that really needed to be brought here, especially in a bubble such as Franklin, you need to be able to see how other people’s lives in this world are affected, by things that maybe don’t affect us but do affect other people.

She added,

Ferguson was also a big kick off for it, because I realized something had to be done now.”

Ideally, Olivia says she wants Human Rights Club to expand beyond discussion, and to be able to work with the club on service projects.

“What I really want to start this year is the Rosie’s Place initiative,” Olivia said, “Which would be starting a fundraiser and helping out with a women’s shelter in Boston. It’s the oldest women’s shelter, which is kind of ironic because it was only started in the 1970s, and you’d think they’d have one that was older than that. So we wanted to help out with that – participate in the fundraiser and possibly volunteer with them.

When asked about other plans for the future, Surbhi said,

“We want new members to continue the club after we leave.”

“Also, we want to start an Instagram page that’s sort of like Humans of New York,” added Olivia, “To show a meaning to people besides just superficially, because a lot of people are judged on their appearance.”

When asked if there was anything else they wanted to tell FHS students, Olivia said,

“I would love people to join, it makes me super happy to see all the people here. It makes me feel really proud and it makes me feel really happy about what we’ll all continue to do in the future with this knowledge.”

Surbhi added,

“And it’s something where you can just come if you’re interested in the topic. You don’t have to come every week, because if there’s just one week wear you say “Oh, I like this topic,” you can come in.”

Human Rights Club meets after school on Fridays in room 224. Check out their Twitter here.