Awareness and Advocacy

December 10 was United Nations International Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status.

In an effort to honor this milestone document, Marlborough and our Girls Go Global Club hosted a day of activities focused around the theme of albinism and human rights. 

People with albinism face isolation, exclusion, and even persecution around the world. They are often marginalized by their own communities and in some cultures even hunted due to superstitious beliefs. Described as ghosts or magical creatures with special properties that can bring wealth or good luck, they live in a constant state of fear, anxiety, and exclusion. Today, buyers in Africa hire body poachers to cross boarders to capture young children and teenagers with albinism to sell their limbs at market rates. 

The New York Dermatology Group's ColorFull campaign is working to combat these atrocities by promoting inclusivity and embracing people with albinism in dignity, providing equal access and opportunities so that children can safely go to school and learn, families can raise their children in secure places, and all people with albinism can participate in the economy and feel like valued community members.

To bring awareness to this issue within our own community and to celebrate inclusivity in all its forms, a panel of experts and activists discussed human rights advocacy through the United Nations, medicine, fashion, media, and the arts. Students also joined smaller group discussion sessions by theme, and our English and Science Departments prepared students for the day by engaging them with the topic of albinism through class discussion.

"UN International Human Rights Day is an opportunity for all of us to stop and reflect on the human rights many of us take for granted, and to learn about the challenges still facing so many people around the globe," said Dr. Cathy Atwell, Dean of Student Research and History and Social Sciences Instructor. "We thought it was important to discuss this human rights issue because it touches on so many themes we are prioritizing as a school community: racial justice, empathy, global awareness, and using one's voice for good."

"I was inspired by the number of Marlborough students who attended though the event took place during class time because it illustrated that, though everyone in attendance was a motivated student, we care about learning even outside the classroom about issues that affect our world," said Violet A. '24, member of Girls Go Global.


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