Ezra Nugiel and Kaitlyn Boyle organized the Women’s March on Cherry Hill East. About 200 students wore pink shirts to school on Monday in support of the demonstration.
Cherry Hill High School East senior Ezra Nugiel got to experience the Women’s March on Washington first-hand on Jan. 21.
Nugiel traveled to the nation’s capital to join thousands of other demonstrators for the Women’s March. Nugiel found the event so inspiring, he decided to organize a peaceful demonstration at his high school.
Together with fellow senior Kaitlyn Boyle, Nugiel organized a demonstration called the Women’s March on Cherry Hill East. Last Monday, students were encouraged to wear pink to school and stand in solidarity for the protection of the rights of all people.
Being in Washington, D.C., for the march was an extremely memorable experience for Nugiel. He said it was awe-inspiring to see people from all genders, races and backgrounds join together in one voice.
“I just knew that I really wanted to spread that message to East,” Nugiel said.
After returning from the march, Nugiel had only a little bit of time to organize an event at Cherry Hill East. He came up with the idea to have students wear pink on the Monday after the march.
“I sort of put it out there in my class Facebook group,” Nugiel said. “A bunch of people started saying we should do it.”
Boyle shares the same passion for equality as Nugiel. Though she didn’t attend the march in Washington, D.C., she understood how important it was and helped Nugiel get the event as a co-organizer for the Women’s March on Cherry Hill East.
Boyle said she felt it was important to spread the message about the march to younger children, especially younger girls in Cherry Hill.
Nugiel and Boyle are very involved in the Cherry Hill East community. Boyle serves as the school’s board of education representative, and Nugiel serves as the alternate representative. Both have a good pulse on what their fellow students are talking about and realized how polarizing politics has been among the students in recent months. They wanted to make sure the Women’s March on Cherry Hill East focused more on equality and diversity than anything else.
“The East community has been kind of divided in terms of political things,” Boyle said. “What we did today was not meant to be political at all.”
“It was not about (Trump) whatsoever,” Nugiel said. “This was celebrating our diverse and vibrant community at East.”
Boyle said she also wanted the event to clarify how feminism was defined.
“Feminism doesn’t mean more rights for women,” she said. “It means equal rights for everyone.”
Nugiel and Boyle said about 200 students wore pink to school last Monday. Nugiel was pleased people got the message about the event on such short notice.
“So many people came out and did it,” he said. “It was really cool to see how widespread it was.”
Because the demonstration was organized on such short notice, many in the school didn’t realize at first why so many students were wearing pink.
“Some of our teachers, they were a little confused at first. But once we explained, they said, ‘Good work,’” Boyle said.
“The teachers definitely seemed to be happy that we were able to unite the students,” Nugiel said.
Nugiel and Boyle hope people understood the message the demonstration put out on Monday. They believe it’s important for Cherry Hill East to continue to have an inclusive community not just now, but also for many years ahead.
“We hope our message was heard,” Nugiel said.