Schools

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In Charlottesville’s Wake, Avoiding the “Ivory Tower”

by Caroline Kubzansky
Here is how I will respond to the horrors of Charlottesville as a student activist. Discussion is great, activism (in this case) is better.

Shulamith Katznelson

Shulamith Katznelson helped make Israel a home for a wider range of people as both a pioneer of Hebrew-immersion programs and an advocate for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.
Illustration from Stop Sexual Assaults in Schools Cropped

Combatting Sexual Harassment and Assault in Schools

by Sara Lebow

Esther Warkov, a Jewish enthnomusicologist, describes herself as a latecomer to activism. She is now the Executive Director and Co-Founder ofStop Sexual Assault in Schools, an organization that focuses on sexual harassment and assault in K-12 schools.

Governor Nathan Deal

Making a Deal with Governor Deal

by Aliza Abusch-Magder

Having received excellent sex education when in middle school, I have become somewhat of a “sex educator” for my peers, and I am often shocked by how unknowledgeable some of them are. With the safety and healthy development of Georgia’s youth in mind, I urge you to support comprehensive sex education. 

First Lady Michelle Obama with Students

Nutritious School Lunches for All

by Sarah Biskowitz

Sometimes when I babysit, kids don’t like the meals I prepare for them. They scrunch their noses and whine “ewww!” at the nutritious food on their plates; but then I explain to them how carrots make their eyesight sharper, yogurt makes their bones stronger, and whole-grain pasta gives them the energy to play. Wanting to be strong and healthy, the kids listen and eat up.

Charlie Baker

Tuition-Free College: Good for Students and Good for Massachusetts

by Lili Klayman

My name is Lili Klayman, and I am a junior at Mansfield High School. I am writing to you in the hopes that you and your administration will consider implementing tuition-free college for students in Massachusetts who struggle to pay for college. Many of my fellow students are unable to attend college due to their socioeconomic status; this is simply unfair, and prohibits promising students from reaching their full potential, and contributing all they can to society. 

Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney

Please, Sir, May We Have Some More?

by Diana Myers

I have attended city public schools all my life, and know firsthand the various difficulties Philadelphia students have faced over the years, especially those as a result of extensive budget cuts. Even though I’m very fortunate to go to a high-performing and well-funded school, I’m aware that that’s not the case for every school in the city. 

Students Studying in College Library

Balancing Academic Freedom and the Right to Bear Arms

by Hannah Himmelgreen

Gun control is an undeniably controversial topic, and while an individual may be entitled to their constitutional right to bear arms, allowing unrestricted carry of weapons does nothing to prevent mass school violence.  

Rising Voices Fellow Sarah Biskowitz with Grandmother Helene

A Girl Grows Up in Brooklyn

by Sarah Biskowitz

“It was the magic age of growing up in Brooklyn,” my grandmother Helene told me as she recounted her idyllic 1940s and 1950s childhood. “A lot of people came out of Brooklyn, and it was a great place to grow up…Bernie Sanders was in my class...Ruth Bader Ginsburg graduated a year ahead of my brother…” 

Rising Voices Fellow Madisen Siegel with her Best Friend Lucy

She Has Pink Hair and Just Doesn't Care

by Madisen Siegel

Lucy is easy to find. It’s easy to spot her bobbing pink hair in the crowd, though it might have a blue or purple undertone now. Even before she started dying her hair last year, Lucy made herself known. Whether it’s by singing at the top of her lungs – with perfect pitch, by the way – or boldly introducing herself to strangers left and right, Lucy is not like everyone else.

Topics: Schools, Music, Cantors
Laila Goodman

Sexism, Spirituality, and Science: The Story of Laila Goodman

by Eden Olsberg

Laila Goodman isn’t your average high school biology teacher. Her class is regularly filled with personal anecdotes from her life, and her office is regularly filled with students seeking advice. One of my most memorable interactions with her was talking about her experiences as a doula, and then later looking at an album of birthing photos.

Cecile Ruth Sands

Cecile Ruth Sands served for six years as the only woman on the New York City Board of Education, where she took a stand against McCarthyism and advocated for school integration.
Emma Stone

The 21st Century Scarlet Letter: A Look at How the High School Rumor Mill Affects Teenage Sexuality

by Hannah Himmelgreen

I was a sophomore when I first stumbled across Easy A on my Netflix browser one lonely Friday night. The green poster, exclaiming in bold lettering, “Let’s Not and Say We Did,” was the first thing to pop up under the “Top Picks For Hannah” banner. It instantly grabbed my attention. Intrigued, I clicked play. 

Topics: Schools, Film, Fiction

Henriette Herz

Henriette de Lemos Herz exercised her intellectual passions through both the salons she hosted and the school she created.

Henriette Goldschmidt

At a time when women were banned from universities, Henriette Benas Goldschmidt championed women’s education as a crucial building block of a healthy society.
Chris Christie

Education for a Crumbling Nation

by Madisen Siegel

One of my biggest problems with Christie has to do with his education policies. As governor, Christie has brought many changes to the New Jersey education system. Overall, his policies tend to benefit families that send their children to private, parochial, or charter schools, and to take money away from districts that need more school supplies, classrooms, and teachers. 

Betsy DeVos

Get Educated

by Sarah Biskowitz

Betsy DeVos and I are about as close to enemies as two advocates for children could be, and about as different as two white Midwestern women have ever been. We both believe in the power of education, but we see the purpose of education very differently.     

Sunrise over a Lake

The Power of My Daily Renewal

by Hannah Himmelgreen

After long afternoons turn into endless evenings and restless nights, I still wake up in the morning feeling wholly replenished. With the ring of my alarm clock comes the thought that I can take on the day, no matter how tired I am. 

Martha Minow

Martha Louise Minow has shaped laws to help the disempowered, and as dean of Harvard Law School, has also shaped the next generation of lawmakers.

Brenda Brown Rever

From empowering and educating young girls, to preserving the oral histories of women over 75, Brenda Brown Rever has helped shape women’s stories and been shaped by them in return.

Susan Harris

As hospital chaplain, Rabbi Susan Harris has worked to make Boston Children’s Hospital more sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ patients and families.
Cartoon Image of a Woman with a Thought Bubble

Tongue-Tied

by Emma Bauchner

There’s pretty much only one way to make sure your opinions are heard: speaking up. While this might be the best way to get your ideas out there, it's not always easy.

Topics: Feminism, Schools
2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Lili Klayman on a Service Trip

Cleaning The World of Mansplaining

by Lili Klayman

“It doesn't seem to matter if you have a PhD in neuroscience, that won't stop some [man] from assuming you are ignorant on the subject and carefully explaining what he learned in his high school bio class.” This quote, from an article by Lily Feinn published on Bustle, perfectly explains the art of mansplaining. 

Topics: Feminism, Schools
2016-2017 Rising Voices Fellow Isabel Kirsch with her Model UN Partner

My Power Outfit Deserves Its Name

by Isabel Kirsch

Although I've learned to embrace my short stature and recognize its impact on my confidence as a woman, when I was younger, my height was my biggest insecurity. 

"That's funny. Do you want me to ruin it with my feminism?"

I Walk the Line: The Shaky Tightrope of Male Validation

by Katy Ronkin

Freshman year, my new friend John (name changed to protect the male ego) made a lot of gay jokes, and I laughed at every one of them. He would make all these jokes about Jews, egged on by his Jewish friends, and I laughed at every one of them. Freshman year, John would joke about rape, and when I didn’t laugh, John laughed at me. 

Topics: Feminism, Schools
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