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Every generation leaves their mark on the world. This month we are featuring some of our young activists and leaders who are already making change. We are so proud of their efforts!

Scarlett Friedland

Making Menstrual Products Freely Available

“When running for 8th Grade Student Council President, my campaign platform was about the fact that the girls’ bathrooms in my middle school didn’t have any accessible menstrual products. When I started talking to other girls about it, I realized how big an issue this was. How it was a financial hardship for many, and embarrassing for everyone to go to the nurse for supplies. When I was elected—with the help of the rest of the student council, the non-profit organization Girls Helping Girls. Period, and the HSA—we were able to install free, cardboard/environmentally friendly, menstrual product dispensers in the girl’s bathroom.”

Why is this issue important to you?
“Having accessible menstrual products isn’t just about taking care of a woman’s needs; it’s about taking charge of their own bodies and of their own lives. Getting your period shouldn’t be a shameful thing, but it also doesn’t have to be public. My hope is that one day menstrual equality will be a fact of life, not a discussion. I hope to work more with Girls Helping Girls. Period, and other organizations both locally and national to ensure menstrual equality.”

Jonathan Kay

Successfully Petitioned George Washington University to Remove Justice Clarence Thomas from Teaching Position

“By continuing the employment of Thomas, GWU endorses Thomas’s actions that have and will make life more dangerous for thousands of students on campus. I could not abide as the university pretended that Thomas was just another conservative professor rather than the instrument of oppression he envisions himself as. Thomas needed to be removed because it dampened the reputation of the university to capitulate to the supposed prestige of having a Supreme Court Justice on the payroll for future and current students, as well as alumni. Our victory also displays the power that a handful of people can have over even the most powerful people in our society, and I am proud of the work we’ve done.

Why is this issue important to you?
“I want my university to reflect the principles it espouses, and to feel protected by the institution that houses and educates and claims to protect me.”

Caleb Salmon

Petitioning SOMSD to Recognize Muslim Holidays

“A group of friends and I have been working throughout all of 2022 to create a more equitable environment for Muslims. We are trying to convince the school district to give Muslims two of their holidays off, including Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. (I found out while typing this that autocorrect doesn’t even understand these terms, even though they apply to the 3rd biggest religion in the world, which makes me incredibly sad.) We’ve created a petition to determine whether people feel the same, and have received ~1000 signatures so far. We have also approached the school board and started to familiarize them with this idea.”

Why is this issue important to you?
“While not Muslim myself, I have Muslim friends, and greatly respect the culture. I have also observed a big Muslim community within our school district, and they should be able to celebrate their holidays just like Christians or Jews. The most important Jewish value to me states that everyone should be treated equally, that everyone is human regardless of how they look, and that all are welcome. This has had a huge influence on me my entire life, and I finally decided to act on it. My goal is to one day provide equity throughout the entire world for everyone, from small things to big things.”