Marci Mazza-Fredley receives the 2019 student RFK Urban Education Award.

Marci Mazza Fredley, right, with Cara Kennedy Cuomo, presenter of this year’s awards during the 2019 Leaders That Can and Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Awards Luncheon at the Robert Treat in Newark, NJ

Congratulations to City High junior Marci Mazza-Fredley!

Marci Mazza-Fredley is the recipient of the 2019 student RFK Urban Education Award. Marci, 17, is “the definition of a student-activist,” according to Mark Barga, the teacher who nominated her for the award.

Schools That Can presents the annual Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Awards to three award recipients: a teacher, a student and a school leader. The award is in honor of Robert F. Kennedy and is part of a partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, which focuses on human rights issues. Each of the awardees are selected out of a large pool of nominees and embody Kennedy’s characteristics by speaking truth to power and acting as agents of positive change, and who embody this quote from Kennedy: “Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.”

Out of the nominees for this year’s award, three finalists were chosen in each of the three categories. This year’s awardees, including Marci, were announced at the awards ceremony on May 1 in Newark, N.J. The awards were presented by Cara Kennedy Cuomo, the daughter of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy

Marci Mazza-Fredley receives the 2019 student RFK Urban Education Award.

Marci has continuously demonstrated her activism both inside and outside of the classroom. In Barga’s class “Education and Deomcracy,”which collaborated with students from CMU, Marci interacted with the socially conscious students as an intellectual equal. She pushed others to think differently and more seriously about social justice topics, while actively pushing for justice and equality. For her graduation project, Marci dove deeper into these issues and led a school walk-out as her action project to show solidarity with workers, people of color and others who face oppression.

Earlier this year, Marci attended a rally and women’s march and encouraged other classmates to join her. In addition to being an activist, Marci is a talented writer. At the rally, she performed a spoken-word poem about women’s rights and a need for our culture to break free from cultural constraints of patriarchy. She has rallied for a variety of social justice issues, including women’s rights, LGBTQIA rights, immigrant rights and the rights of those who are undocumented, the working class, ending gentrification and climate change. She has also rallied and volunteered with community organizations such as Black Lives Matters, Socialist Alternatives in Pittsburgh, Girls Write Pittsburgh, and 1Hood, a collective of socially conscious artists and activists.

Marci’s passion fuels her writing and her advocacy. She is dedicated to her city and to her county and hopes to continue to fight for equality for others. Marci will be a senior at City High this fall. She hopes to attend college and pursue a career in politics and to also open her own bakery and connect with the community.


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