On April 13, 2015, students from St. Joseph High School in Brooklyn and The Mary Louis Academy in Queens, both Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood schools, joined with others in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations to commemorate the kidnapping of the students in Chibok, Nigeria.

The following is a statement delivered by Ayana Gay in the name of all students.
#Bringbackourgirls Press Conference; Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, NYC

Today The Mary Louis Academy, St. Edmund High School and St. Joseph high School in Queens and Brooklyn are here to represent all the Catholic high schools in Brooklyn and Queens to be the voice for those whose voices have been taken away. It is unconscionable for anyone, especially women and children who are most greatly affected, to be subjected to violence and denied an education.

Education should be a fundamental right for all people in particularly for our sisters in Chibok, Nigeria. One year later, we stand together and for the release of the students kidnapped from their school by Boko Haram. Those of us who are educated know the power of an educated person. It is the power to be our best selves which includes acting in ways that are peaceful and just.

While it is good to know that some of our sisters in Chibok were able to escape the grip of Boko Haram others were not as fortunate. Today over 200 young women remain in captivity and more than likely are being trafficked.

This is why we are educating ourselves on the evil of human trafficking. To hear the stories of victims deepens our desire to eradicate this terror. We are here today to call upon the United Nations and governments around the world to find these girls and any others who are unjustly imprisoned and set them free.

Together we have the power to set these young women and others imprisoned beyond their will and in so doing we will restore the soul of society.

Ayana Gay, Class of 2015

St. Joseph High School
80 Willoughby Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201