Herricks students focus on dignity and equality

Herricks students focus on dignity and equality
From left: Pranjal Jain, Deja Foxx, Debra Mule, Elizabeth Osowiecki discussed topics related to inequality during a panel at Herricks High School. Photos courtesy of Herricks Public Schools

On March 18, Herricks High School hosted an event that focused on real-world struggles for inequality. The opportunity, which featured a panel of three guest speakers, was created by senior Pranjal Jain as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project and increased students’ awareness of what inequality looks like outside of Herricks and Long Island.

The presenters were Congresswoman Debra Mulé (D-Freeport), SAFE Center Education Coordinator Elizabeth Osowiecki and Columbia University student and reproductive justice activist Deja Foxx. They all shared their experiences and details about the work they have done, then went on to answer questions submitted by the Herricks students.

Congresswoman Mulé offered a legal and workplace perspective on the inequalities people face, while Ms. Osowiecki shared her input as a leader who educates high school students about maintaining healthy relationships and advocating for themselves. Ms. Foxx discussed the ways in which she promotes equal access and opportunity for sexual education for everyone. The panel also included Harvard University sophomore Nadya Okamoto, who provided remarks via video regarding her efforts to destigmatize menstruation.

The recent forum was part of the Dignity Series – a set of events run by students, for students, with a focus on acceptance, unity and solidarity. The series is the newest installation of the Herricks Helping Hands platform, which Pranjal initiated three years ago upon beginning her Gold Award project. She now serves on the HHH board, alongside classmates Jaden Wong, Aveena Desai and Emily Tucker, to provide students with opportunities to advocate about social justice issues and bring awareness to the greater school community.

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