Lawrenceville Remembers RBG

This past Monday, September 21, Lawrenceville students and faculty gathered virtually over Zoom to commemorate the life and legacy of former Supreme Court Justice and prominent gender equality advocate Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

This past Monday, September 21, Lawrenceville students and faculty gathered virtually over Zoom to commemorate the life and legacy of former Supreme Court Justice and prominent gender equality advocate Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ginsburg, who passed away on September 18, was the second female Justice to be appointed to the Supreme Court. During her 27 years as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, she played instrumental roles in landmark legal decisions, including broadening the 14th Amendment to guarantee women equal rights, legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, and enforcing women’s abortion rights.

Led by the Student Council, Diversity Council, and Religious Life Council, the VILLEage Vigil for Justice Ginsburg began with a reflection from Rabbi Lauren Levy H’97 ’01 P’01 ’02 ’09. She was followed by thoughts from Perri Kitei ’21, Student Council President Soleil Saint-Cyr ’21, and Head of School Stephen Murray H’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21, each interposed by a moment of silence. The meeting closed with a virtual candlelit vigil led by Reverend Sue Anne Steffey Morrow H’12.

Levy began by describing Justice Ginsburg as a “tzaddik,” or “one that would perpetuate equality and access without the expectation of any fame or praise…[and a] worker of justice.” She emphasized the importance of keeping Ginsburg’s memory alive and carrying on her legacy, not just by remembering her, but by continuing to pursue her work for justice and equality.

Adding onto the relation between Ginsburg and her Jewish heritage, Kitei spoke about Ginsburg’s influence on her, saying, “As a Jewish woman with a lot of opinions and a very strong voice, I have also faced discrimination on the basis of my sex…I have also had to prove I deserve an equal place among my peers.”

Following Kitei, Saint-Cyr said, “Justice Ginsburg represented all that I could do, all that I could become, and all that I could challenge and dissent from as a young woman who seeks to help those around her.” She described Ginsburg as “one of those remarkable human beings who led that commitment, that charge, to bring us closer to justice.”

Murray then discussed the hopefulness and determination the “notorious RBG” had and how she remains a symbol of tenacity, reminding the public of the power of dissent and integrity. Finally, students and faculty held up candles on their phones in solidarity to close the remembrance.

“I felt a strong sense of community at the vigil which felt comforting after losing such an important figure in our country,” said Malin Phelan ’23. She added that she would “do [her] best to honor [Ginsburg’s] legacy and the incredible woman she was.”

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