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Corona Canceled Our Conference

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

By Daniel Bernstein

Human Rights Club Officer

A couple of weeks after Politicon 2020, the Human Rights Club was planning to hold the biannual Human Rights Conference on March 25th. The conference was going to be an incredible event, with this year's theme being, "Where do you draw the line?" The Human Rights Club at Barrack aims to educate students about the many injustices that are happening worldwide and encourage the Barrack Kehilla to be educated and active. Speakers ranged from Shira Goodman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Philadelphia, to Nan Feyler, the head of the PA Innocence Project. It was the culmination of months of planning and work.

However, in the weeks leading up to the conference, concerns about the coronavirus started to grow. As the eighth grade Israel trip and the seventh grade Williamsburg trip were canceled, it was decided that the entire school would be attending the conference, instead of just the high school. In a hectic couple of days, the Human Rights Club managed to put together an entirely new conference for the middle school. It was going to be run by internal speakers talking about a variety of local and global human rights issues. Just as it seemed like everything was finally under control, the school closed and the conference had to be canceled.

After putting in so much hard work and anticipating what a great day it was going to be, the Human Rights Club was extremely disappointed. In an email to the club on what would have been the morning of the conference, Mr. Thomas McLaughlin, Humanities Department Chair and the club advisor, said, "In an alternate universe, we'd be a little more frenzied this morning." The conference was exciting to plan, and it is a shame that that morning could not have been as frenzied as hoped. The Human Rights Club hopes to get a chance to reschedule the conference next year.


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