FRAMINGHAM – Next week, more than 250 students will come together to celebrate Framingham’s diversity as a community.
The two-day event on May 15-16 is being organized by Framingham High senior Jordan Ramsay, as part of an independent study project.
“I wanted to do this event because in recent years I’ve become quite politically active. I always respected how diverse Framingham is and how proud we are of our differences. We celebrate our community no matter what and that is so admirable. It is a harsh reality that the effects of current events have taken our human differences and used them as pawns against our minorities – the same human differences that we have always celebrated. Because of this, we have to be vocal and teach our youth how to be politically active in times where equality is threatened,” said Ramsay.
The event combines art with advocacy.
“I hope to inspire other youth to be involved in advocacy and using creative mediums to be politically active and impact the community that has given so much to us by teaching us to respect diversity and community. I want at least someone to walk out of our event and look at the world around us with a different perspective and not take for granted the wonderful gift that is our town,” said Ramsay.
“I would like them to see that there are forces out there threatening those values we revere in our community and that those forces are not impossible to challenge,” said Ramsay.
The event is called Love is Louder.
It takes its name from a previous event held at Framingham High when the Framingham High School Drama Company performed The Laramie Project in 2010. The production drew the protest of the Westboro Baptist Church.
“Donna Wresinski, who advises me in this project, put together a series of events similar to this in order to unite the community against the group. They had community forums and even counter-protests that vastly outnumbered the Westboro Baptist Church,” said Ramsay, who is a member of the high school’s drama company, the percussion ensemble, the marching band, and also the senior class president.
The Love is Louder 2017 event will be held on Monday, May 15 at Amazing Things Arts Center and Tuesday, May 16 at Framingham High from 7 to 9 p.m. both nights. The events are free and the community is invited to attend.
On Monday night, there will be a panel discussion, that includes Superintendent Robert Tremblay, State Rep. Chris Walsh, State Rep. Jack Lewis, Rev. J Anthony Lloyd from the Greater Framingham Community Church and Ilma Paixao, general manager at the local Brazilian radio station.
The second night will highlight the arts and diversity of the community.
“Art is such an influential medium to express one’s opinion on. It is able to access human emotion in a way that, for some reason, spoken or written word cannot. In a world that is constantly changing with social media and new modes of conversation, creative methods of being politically vocal are imperative,” said Ramsay.
“Our youth, especially those who might be marginalized because of their characteristics, will inevitably face adversity in the world. Art is a coping mechanism to that discrimination and is a way to express one’s emotion in such a raw and honest way,” said the senior, who will attend George Washington University in the fall.
Asked if Love is Louder should be an annual event in Framingham, Ramsay said ” I think that Love is Louder should reappear when the community needs healing or an explanation or a means of figuring out what is happening in the world. This event is a time to bring the community together in a time where some of our own might feel threatened. We have to support each other and stand united in the face of adversity.”