Jam for Justice is a music and human rights festival hosted each year at DHS, whose purpose is to spread awareness of current human rights issues. We donate all proceeds to organizations that work to address these issues, with one main beneficiary related to the central focus of the event. In 2022, our focus was on the relief efforts for the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and our main beneficiary was UNICEF.
With the help of the First Bank of Highland Park, the DHS Quest cafeteria and DHS Activities office, we were able to raise $1000.
During the Jam for Justice, there are live performances by students and information tables for a variety of local non-profit organizations. Representatives from these organizations speak briefly about their work on stage between acts. Students from Human Rights Club also speak between acts to inform the audience about the Ukraine refugee crisis and other human rights issues, making up the “justice” part of the event.
Interested in Performing?
Fill out this Google Form, which will also be posted in Warrior Words and on the TV screens. Deadline to sign up is April 21, 2023! We'd love it if you would choose a song that relates to social justice; to get inspiration, see Oxfam's Spotify Playlist Songs of Social Justice, Change, and Inspiration.
The History of Jam for Justice
Before Human Rights Club began (around 2006), Deerfield High School had a club called AWARE, which was a gathering of students interested in talking about current events and taking action to raise awareness at the school. They held Jam for Justice in the evening in the Cafeteria. There had also been a long-standing event called the Battle of the Bands, which was held in the Courtyard outside of school hours. These two school events and the phenomenon of music festivals like Lollapalooza and concerts by organizations like Global Citizen and Amnesty International inspired Human Rights Club to ask if the administration at DHS would allow a music and human rights festival during the school day in the courtyard. Thanks to the support of Mr. Verisario, the Activities Director, the event came into existence. Here is an article by journalist Steve Sadin from the first Jam for Justice in 2012: "Deerfield Students Jam for Justice"
Past Jam for Justice events
To see what the event looks like in its ideal form, check out the 2016 Jam for Justice!
DHS-TV did a segment on one of our earliest Jams on a sunny day in the Courtyard. Check it out on Vimeo.
The Era of the Virtual Jam for Justice - 2020 and 2021
Due to the pandemic, in both 2020 and 2021, Human Rights Club preserved the Jam for Justice by taking it online. We had amazing performers who created videos of their performances, and our student team of club members and activists put together segments on human rights issues and ways you can take action. In both years, our beneficiaries were local organizations whose work focused on basic necessities - food with the West Deerfield Township Food Bank and shelter with PADS of Lake County. Both years, the First Bank of Highland Park contributed to "kickstart" our fundraising.
- You can go to YouTube to see the 2020 Jam for Justice and see the Playbill for information on performances and organizations.
- Click on this link to the 2021 Jam for Justice to see the show.
Back live & in the Courtyard in 2022!
The main issue at the 2022 Jam for Justice was the war in Ukraine, and fundraising focused on relief efforts by UNICEF. Below is the list of performers.
- ♫ Akers' Chorus Classes - singing the Ukrainian National Anthem
- ♫ Dancing Krauts - Ryan Segal, William Love, Juliana Canastra, Genevieve Melton, Maxwell Kirchen
- ♫ Sadie and the Planet - tatevik asatryan, sadie kalina, micah wolkenberg, marlow litowitz
- ♫ Juliana Canastra & Shaina Wolkenberg
- ♫ Bill is Ill - Genevieve Melton, Sara Kaufman, Shaina Wolkenberg, Micah Wolkenberg, Carter Madura
- ♫ Hannah Cohen
- ♫ Genevieve + Julia
- ♫ Guitar Class - Mr.Velleur and Class
- ♫ Staff Infection
- And acts without names included the following:
- ♫ Lucas Lewit, Sally Lynn, Joya Weissman, Jonah Simon, Will Love
- ♫ Eden Chaban, Leo Baum, Jake Donenberg, Aryeh Levy, Matt Berk, Lucas Gomez
- ♫ Lucas Lewit, Jonah Simon, Alex Polovin
The photographs in the gallery are from the 2015 Jam for Justice, and the videos are from 2022. Enjoy!