- Upper School
On Thursday, November 16, during Community Time, Malvern Prep’s Human Rights Club officially opened its Human Rights installation in the St. Augustine Center for Social Impact. The students who are involved in this project are Cameron Joyce ’24, Nate Padula ’24, Bradley Bennett ’25, Jack Muntz ’26, and Donnie Sadoff ’26.
“Human Rights is humanity's common language and sometimes it is easy to forget all of the common ground that we stand on,” shared Cameron.
This installation came about after the Human Rights Club took a trip to New York in March of last year. During their trip, they visited Mediabrands, the Whitney Museum of Art, as well as Stonewall, and The New York City AIDS Memorial. “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman is featured at the AIDS Memorial and the team felt so inspired that they included it in their installation as well.
“When Walt Whitman wrote “Leaves of Grass” it was unprecedented, it had a lot of themes that people weren’t quite ready to hear,” said Donnie. “That’s what Human Rights is about … it’s not about telling people what they want to hear, but what they need to hear. That’s why we chose a lot of our activists. "Song of Myself" talks about the divine qualities of all things in life and reminds me of the Golden Rule-treat others how you would treat yourself-and looking at our installation I think it goes well with our values of Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas.”
The activists who are featured in the installation are: Bayard Rustin, Cesar Chavez, Dr. Dan Kelly ’99, Dr. E.J. Caterson ’92, Harriet Tubman, Judith Heumann, Justin Halladay ’95, Mahsa Amini, Malala Yousafezai, and Mother Teresa.
The installation will remain in the Augustine Center throughout the school year, but it will continue to evolve through the year.
“This installation is part of a larger vision for campus,” said Art Director and Installation Coordinator Jackie White. “They will be located all around campus and are a way for visitors to quickly and easily learn about Malvern or the things our community finds important.”
Metty Vithayathil is an Upper School teacher, a facilitator for the Human Rights Club, and oversees the Independent Study program.
“The thinking was that if they’re going to put so much work and effort into this installation, how can we formalize it so their hard work can be acknowledged? We formalized it as an Independent Study and the students received credit for this first term,” she said.
She continues, “When you see the kids presenting their work it makes you think, ‘Wow, they are really passionate about what they’re working on.’ There’s nothing better than seeing them learn and be enthusiastic about their learning.”