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Four Rivers students presenting human rights project

  • The Shea Theater will host “Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark” Thursday at 7 p.m. Recorder file photo/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

TURNERS FALLS — Four Rivers Charter Public School students will be providing Franklin County with a glimpse into human rights issues around the world Thursday.

Junior year students will explore human rights issues through a multimedia project titled “Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark” at Shea Theatre Thursday at 7 p.m. The project includes a play and graphic arts highlighting 40 human rights defenders from around the world.

The project will examine several facets of human rights, including freedom of expression, demilitarization, mental health issues and domestic violence, according to Alex Wilson, history teacher who assisted with the project.

Students will be portraying human rights defenders on stage, reading brief vignettes about each that highlight the struggles each had faced, Wilson noted.

Those being profiled will include political activist and news commentator Van Jones, microcredit pioneer Muhammed Yunus and death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean.

Posters created by the students describing the efforts of the human rights defenders will also be on display.

The play was originally written by Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman and was inspired by Kerry Kennedy’s book “Speak Truth to Power: Human Rights Defenders Who Are Changing Our World,” which told the stories of 51 different human rights defenders from around the world. Photographs by Eddie Adams that appeared in the book are being used for the project.

Thursday’s play will be directed by Four Rivers English teacher Leah Plath.

Ticket cost is on a sliding scale between $5 and $15, Wilson said, and proceeds with go to the Traprock Peace Education Center at Greenfield Community College.