Johanna Jarecki

Johanna Jarecki, Waitsfield, is among the students who are participating in the ACLU’s Summer Advocacy Institute in Washington, DC. Starting on July 18 and running through July 25, the American Civil Liberties Union is hosting the annual Summer Advocacy Institute in Washington, DC, for rising junior and senior high school students that will give students the tools they need to engage in their communities on issues around civil liberties and civil rights. Participating students will receive firsthand learning experience from lawyers, lobbyists, community activists and other experts dedicated to defending these constitutional rights.

Jarecki of Harwood Union High School is joining 1,000 students — the largest class ever — from every state in the country for the opportunity to engage with lawyers and political activists on social justice, to build expertise and knowledge in advocacy, to participate in debates, and to develop successful media and social networking strategies, while observing policy development on Capitol Hill.

Students will engage in classroom sessions, lectures, daily debates, workshops and meetings with elected officials and congressional staff. The week will culminate with a lobby day on Capitol Hill on July 24, where these young activists will be able to speak with their members of Congress about the family separation crisis. They will then join the entire class for a rally in front of the Capitol to tell Congress #FamiliesBelongTogether.

This year’s Summer Institute speakers include Anthony Romero, ACLU executive director; Faiz Shakir, ACLU national political director; David Cole, ACLU national legal director; Cecillia Wang, ACLU deputy legal director; Jeff Robinson, ACLU deputy legal director; Edward Snowden, former CIA employee and well-known illegal government activity whistleblower.