Community / Press Release

Lifting the Weight of Oppression: High school students to make their point on women’s rights

Montreal - Friday, June 9, 2023

Students from eight high schools, including host Options Alternative in Ville Emard (1741 de Biencourt), will collaborate on a unique project this Thursday (June 8) at 1 pm called “Lifting the Weight of Oppression.”

Inspired by the fight by women for equal rights in Iran, students wanted to demonstrate their support and honour the strength of the protestors by undertaking an incredible physical challenge.

On Thursday, 40 students will collectively lift 250,000 pounds in 40 minutes. This feat will be accomplished by using 15 balls of various weights that will all be lifted in unison, one lift every 10 seconds. 

This will create an incredible wave of energy and the momentum will continue to build as the weights all crash to the ground together over and over again,” said Jason Gannon, the project coordinator. “This will be an incredible physical undertaking motivated by our love for people half a world away.

In planning this event, students also wanted to conduct a fundraiser for Iranian women, but as there was no way to channel funds to the protestors, the students decided to support Chez Doris instead.

“Our support for Chez Doris will further drive home the fact that women aren’t just treated unfairly in countries that are far away,” added Gannon. This is a global issue that happens right here in our city too.” 

To fundraise, the school printed a QR on commemorative shirts that link to a donation page. Students have worn these shirts regularly as they trained for Thursday as well as sold them to the public.

The other seven schools are: The schools involved are: Venture, Vezina, Focus, Outreach, Elizabeth, Mountainview  and Sacred Heart.

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About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 73 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at

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