Senior and student activist Ruby Brayton and 19 other Maryland students were awarded the Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore (PCMDCB) “Peacemaker of the Year” award at Stone Ridge, November 18.
Pax Christi USA promotes Peace by exploring, living, and articulating the vocation of nonviolent peacemaking. The PCMDCB serves as a peace witness in the Metro DC and Baltimore area. The award was given to Brayton and the other students in light of their political activism.
An example of Brayton taking part in student activism is her role in MoCo Students for Change as one of the founders and vice presidents. On March 14 last school year, the group led students from Blake and over a dozen other high schools in Montgomery County to the capitol to protest gun violence.
Some other notable protests Brayton has planned or taken part in are the March for Our lives, the Columbine 19th anniversary walkout, the walkout in Annapolis at the state house and the anti-Brett Kavanaugh protest at the Supreme Court.
Brayton expresses that activism is difficult but worth the time she dedicates to it. “Being a student activist is simultaneously one of the most frustrating, emotionally challenging and rewarding things I have ever done,” she says. “Knowing that the efforts of my peers and I have encouraged change from a local to a national level is, without a doubt, one of the most gratifying feelings I have ever experienced.”
Student activism is not the only thing Brayton plays a part in at Blake. She says, “Within Blake I’m your average senior involved in a number of clubs.” Some of the clubs she is involved in include Allies for Equality, Black Student Union, Jewish Culture Club and FAME.
One club Brayton is a leader of Allies for Equality (A4E). The club provides a safe environment for students to support each other and discuss topics relevant to the LGBTQ+ community.
Allies’ key focus is to promote equality in the Blake environment. Brayton elaborates on the importance of that. She says, “When I see injustice taking place at any level, it’s practically subconscious at this point for me to shed my fear and stand up for what I know is right.”
Brayton gives some advice to other future student activists. “Many of my peers have asked me how to get involved,” she adds. “It’s not as hard as it looks.”
“Don’t be afraid to cause a little trouble,” she adds. “As the timeless John Lewis so eloquently said, ‘Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.’”