Amnesty International Club

On a sunny afternoon in late March, John Jay’s Amnesty International Club gathered for their weekly meeting. On the agenda: watch the first portion of “RBG,” the film about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and give updates on research. The club members are exploring issues important to them including the gender gap in politics, abortion rights, access to birth control, domestic abuse and discrimination in the workplace.

Both the movie and their research coalesced around Women’s History Month. The club members were poised, thoughtful and supportive to one another as they shared statistics and showed drafts of how they plan to present their findings. Some will be Instagram posts while others will be displayed on the digital boards at the high school.

This is the first year John Jay has had the Amnesty International Club. It was started by sophomores Carolina Cerna and Claire Jahaly, now the club’s co-presidents, to bring awareness to the injustices in our world. “It allows our school and community to be more educated about horrific events that occur around the whole country instead of focusing on smaller occurrences just in our community,” said Carolina and Claire. “Bringing Amnesty International into John Jay helps to continue these conversations in our school.”

“Each week, I am in awe of the club members' passion for human rights issues,” said club advisor Patricia B. Whitbourne, an English teacher at John Jay. “Claire and Carolina have fostered such a supportive environment for everyone to learn, share and spread awareness, which is how change happens.”