A few times a year, MHS joins together in solidarity to encourage reflection over significant causes in our community. This year, one of those causes was the issue of gender-based violence and ending violence against women highlighted on White Ribbon Day. On Wednesday, March 1st, students were able to sign a pledge at the main office in support of this central topic. Students also pinned white ribbons to their clothes to “take the pledge and be apart of the solution”.
Karen Colòn Hayes, the Community Outreach Manager for the city, worked with Mayor Christenson to promote the White Ribbon Day campaign at MHS. Colòn Hayes explained how the Mayor including all of the local mayors in Boston often meet with a shared goal in mind in aims of giving back to the city. This year, mayors in Boston decided that the White Ribbon campaign would be a catalyst for raising awareness to gender-based violence, the 10th year anniversary of this specific cause. She worked in collaboration with the YWCA, Cathleen Macmulin from the Malden Teen Enrichment Center, and Peg Crowe who works in campaign finance for the city of Malden, to foster this event and hopes “that next year [the event] will be bigger and better”.
Colòn Hayes is a “huge advocate for women's’ rights [and] humans’ rights”, this [cause] was “a no-brainer for [her]”. She says that she thought that the amount of support from men and young men who pledged for this cause was great especially for a cause usually supported mainly by women.
Mayor Christenson explains how choosing to center this campaign at MHS was the best course of action because “the next generation of leaders, [the] students, have responded well to these important campaigns”. He says that he “couldn’t be more pleased to be partnering with [the] students to promote this worthy endeavor.” Christenson explain how with issues such as gender-based and domestic violence, urgency is key and that it is important for women to know that they will be supported and be effective leaders. He says that “it’s one thing to be a leader but it’s another thing on how to be a leader”.
MHS hosted a similar event last lear called Stop the Stigma, which raised awareness toward substance abuse and addiction in the community. He says that the reason why bringing events such as this to MHS is so powerful because of the way in which students respond to these campaigns, by listening and acting on these issues with reverence and respect. Ultimately, Christenson says that students’ promptness to react positively to these topics is what makes him “so hopeful and appreciative for the future” of the school, community, and eventually more global landscapes.
Various MHS faculty and staff including principal Ted Lombardi, students, and members of Malden Council who pledged during the white ribbon day campaign.
Students wrote their signatures in an official pledge to raise awareness for domestic and gender-based violence.