History of MCS Activism

What is the “Activism Project?”
The Manhattan Country School Activism Project is an annual and year-long initiative that is based around student inquiry and leadership on issues of crucial impact in the local and global communities.  The MCS seventh and eighth graders, students of the fifth floor, define activism as, “when a person or group of people fight against something they think is wrong or fight for something that they think is right.”
Each year, MCS students redefine activism, identify an issue of immediate importance and design a project to address that concern.  The student group is led by a small student steering committee, the activism committee, which facilitates communication, fundraising and programming decisions.  The project alternates yearly between a locally-based initiative, and a project based around national and/or global themes, which can require substantial fundraising efforts.  Past projects have focused on:
  • assisting elementary schools in the Mississippi Gulf Coast following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina (2006)
  • environmental justice (2013), including a collaboration with the Ban the Bag movement
  • calling for an end to Mountain Top Removal coal mining (2010), which included a trip to the Coal River Valley in West Virginia 
  • a project to take a stand against bullying (2011), with a particular focus on making schools safe for LGBTQI students
  • youth immigrants (2012), which included a trip to Washington DC to lobby for the DREAM Act
  • organizing a “Speak-Out Against Hate” in Central Park (2007)
  • a collaboration with Camp Sunshine (2008)
  • thinking about our ecological impact, which included organizing a walk-a-thon to raise funds to install the MCS farm solar panel system (2009)
Click here to read more about our process of defining activism.