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Our Activists in a New Age of Activism

Our Activists in the New Age Activism

 

Drew Myers (‘18) considers himself an activist “who fights for Congress to pass specific legislation to solve problems that plague America.” In the wake of Parkland, he has been focused on gun control, “but  also care[s] about wealth disparity and America’s foreign policy…I feel that our government at points lets down its citizens, and it is up to us to use our voice to direct the country where we want it to be.”He believes it is his responsibility as an American citizen to make Congress aware of how its decisions affects citizens, particularly students. “Activism, like the protest on March 14th , takes real work and isn’t achieved as easily as you might think, but it is important to eventually move past the conversations that we have in classes or clubs and to really take action on issues that you care about,” he said.

 

Savannah Phillips-Falk (‘18)fights for human rights activism, such as mass incarceration and gun control, and tries to be an environmentalist in her everyday life. “I think that working towards equality of all people is what I fight for, simply because no one should be determined better than another simply due to society’s hierarchy or status quo.” To the Packer community she said: “We are a community that preaches equality and acceptance, and yet we ostracize many individuals in our society simply due to a difference in opinion or difference in appearance.” She understands it as her responsibility to advocate for these issues, because if nobody does, nothing will change.She emphasizes the importance of understanding and appreciating others’ points of view.

 

Sam Levine (‘21) has recently been working a lot around issues concerning gun control. He said, “I can’t stand idly by while I see others suffering from injustice. Also, I want to give a voice to those in the world who have suffered and who don’t have the ability to stand up for themselves.” He hopes that one day the people in power will realise what’s best for the people, so “we no longer have to continue to shed blood and tears and resources to get our voices heard and our points across.” He hopes that those in the Packer community continue to use our resources and privilege to “stand up for those who don’t have what we have, and to fight for what you believe is right.”

 

Sarah Desousa (‘18) fights for issues like gender equality, the Black Lives Matter movement, and gun control. She believes  that “There are so many people who think that there are enough out there speaking out about a cause, so it isn’t really necessary for them to do the same. But as Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’ and Audre Lorde said, ‘One thing is more frightening than speaking your truth and that is not speaking.’ If you can change/fix something, then why not say something? Why not try to be that change or make that change for your generation and others?” To the Packer community, she said, “Don’t be that person who calls themselves an activist and ‘supports the issue’ just for the sake of it. Do something. Stand up and take action. Your voice can be heard. Just take the risk to let it be.”

 

Skye Brodsky (‘18), the co-leader of the Packer Earth Club, advocates for Packer to become a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious community. “It’s an extremely important issue that goes beyond Packer and affects literally every single person on this Earth. Our Earth is becoming uninhabitable because of problems that the generations before us created, and it’s up to our generation to fix the problems that can still be fixed.” She hopes that one day Packer will reduce their paper and cup usage, and that the cafeteria will start using reusable dishes and composting. To the Packer community, she said, “BRING WATER BOTTLES!”

 

Becca Horowitz (‘18), the other co-leader of the Packer Earth club, is most passionate about environmental activism, but still advocates for other causes such as women’s rights and gun control. “Climate change is THE most pressing issue of our generation, and it is our responsibility to hold the adults and each other responsible for changing their behavior to slow the effects of global warming down.” She wants to see an attitude change at Packer, due to the fact that when No Cup Day was implemented, many people complained, and were disrespectful towards the leaders of Earth Club. Additionally, she hopes to see a change in attitude in the US, because “many countries worldwide have embraced becoming much more green, but the US has moved backward. If our government continues to remove fuel emission standards, pesticide guidelines and diminishes our nation’s goal of lowering carbon emissions, then our country is in serious trouble.” To the Packer community, she said “that climate change, racism, sexism, gay rights and all of the other issues that plague our world ARE your problem. I think Packer kids have a tendency to brush things off their backs with the attitude that it’s ‘not their problem,’ but in reality, especially with climate change, it is everyone’s problem and we need to work together to make a difference, because, in the long run, it will affect every single person on this planet.”

 

Frankie Komar (‘22) is a Middle School activist who devotes a lot of time to gun reform, but who is also interested in women’s rights and the #MeToo movement. “I started my work because I was furious about the inequalities and bad laws in this country. I was just tired of seeing these horror stories on the news about kids who were shot for no reason, women who were treated like trash, and all of the new accusations against sexual predators dating back to the 90s that just started getting press coverage.” Although she is proud of the Packer Middle School community, because people seem to be passionate about these issues, she thinks that people often do activism projects but don’t get recognised. She hopes that one day these people get the credit they deserve. To the Packer Community, she says “If you’re also sick of America’s problematic gun laws, check out nycsaysenough.org to start making change.”

Maddie Gunnell is currently a junior at The Packer Collegiate Institute and the photo editor for the Packer Prism this year. Last year, she was the assistant web editor and is excited for her second year at the Prism. She hopes to make the Prism more accessible to the Packer Community, and broaden the web and social media content. She loves English and writing, and is extremely passionate about journalism and its importance in today’s society. Maddie loves her dog more than she loves the rest of her family, and most of all loves taking pictures of her dog. Maddie can be reached at magunnell@packer.edu

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