Just days before spring break, upper school students were greeted in Food by the smiling faces of The Highliner staff in what has become something of a treasured ritual. As upper graders shuffled out of the elevators for lunch, they received fresh copies of The Highliner Issue VIII.
Students were greeted by a front cover featuring a photograph by Eliana Ben-Dov ’17 from the January 21 Women’s March on Washington. The image, an edited black-and-white still taken from within a crowd of D.C. protesters, captured the spirit of a people coming together to take a collective stand for women’s rights, among many other ubiquitous and urgent human rights issues. The cover set the tone for a morally ambitious issue while inviting readers to join in taking a stand, or at the very least, consider the perspective.
The “Behind the Cover” statement – located in the table of contents – read: “This issue explores how Avenues upper school students grapple with human rights issues – specifically gender equality – at a personal and local level. As journalists and artists, we are devoted to achieving the mission statement of our school and the founding principles of our country.” It was a bold statement for a publication that has increasingly discovered and developed its voice and vision since its first issue two short years ago.
The editorial, written by editor-in-chief Isabella Simonetti, entitled “Girl Interrupted,” directly and courageously addresses challenges young women in the upper school regularly face due to prejudice and discrimination based on their gender. The following three articles continue along the thread of human rights, socioeconomic diversity and privilege, grassroots journalism and our First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceable assembly.
Please take some time to review what is arguably The Highliner’s best issue yet.