Maltz Museum Spotlights Student Advocates For Equality With $100,000 Stop the Hate® Competition

Maltz Museum Spotlights Student Advocates For Equality With $100,000 Stop the Hate® Competition
Posted on 04/20/2017

On Wednesday, April 26th, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage honors 6-12th graders who have expressed their commitment to creating a more accepting, inclusive society through its annual Stop the Hate® competition. The public is invited to attend the Stop the Hate® Awards Ceremony to hear students share their inspiring essays and original songs and find out who wins $100,000 in anti-bias awards and scholarships.

Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) April 17, 2017

“I am more than the color of my skin.” “Gender rules don’t matter.” “Self-hate is just as dangerous as any other.” "Where you're from shouldn’t change how people treat you.” Nearly 3,300 Northeast Ohio 6-12th graders recently submitted these and other reflections on intolerance as part of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage annual Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out competition. Each student shared his or her experiences and ideas for effecting positive change in a 500-word essay. “It’s not just about students recognizing and evaluating instances of discrimination in their own lives,” explains Jeffery Allen, Maltz Museum Director of Education. “We encourage them to recognize they have agency and a voice. We want them to see the role they can play in creating a more inclusive future.”

After 440 volunteer readers blind scored the essays, 25 finalists representing 22 different schools emerged. These upstanders are now in the running to win a portion of $100,000 in scholarships and anti-bias awards. Winners will be announced at the Stop the Hate® Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 26 at 6pm at the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple-Tifereth Israel (Case Western Reserve University, 1855 Ansel Road, Cleveland, OH 44106). The public is invited to celebrate this next generation of leaders and to hear the top ten (10) juniors and seniors read their essays for the audience and a panel of community judges. The Awards Ceremony is being hosted by Lori Stokes, the award-winning TV journalist and daughter of former United States Congressman Louis Stokes.

Congratulations to the 10 students who were the 2017 Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out Grand Prize scholarship finalists!

Fifteen 6-10th grade Youth Speak Out finalists are also being honored on April 26th, including an 8th grade student from Constellation Schools: Old Brooklyn Community Middle! The finalists from each of those grades are eligible for cash prizes.

Grade 8
Olivia Pelley, Constellation Schools: Old Brooklyn Community Middle
(Cleveland, OH)

In confronting the pain that hate and intolerance causes, students from all grade levels overwhelmingly share a belief that efforts they make to educate others and create connections can yield positive results. “In America lately discrimination and hatred have been dividing us,” Hana Samad wrote in response to learning her essay was in the top three for her grade level. “If a 13-year-old girl's voice helps heal the rift, at least I can say I did something to help.”

Those sentiments are echoed in the original Stop the Hate®: Youth Sing Out songs being performed by students from Shaw High School, Midview High School and Newton D. Baker School of Arts, as well as appearances by the Horizon Science Academy's US Army JROTC Color Guard and the Student Group on Race Relations (SGORR), Shaker Heights High School.

Stop the Hate®: Youth Speak Out is presented by the Maltz Museum with the support of Dealer Tire, Dominion Resources and Nordson Corporation Foundation. Youth Sing Out is possible through the partnership of Roots of American Music and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the generosity of The Abington Foundation, The Bruening Foundation, Martha Holden Jennings Foundation and The Nord Family Foundation. For more information or to register to attend the Awards Ceremony, visit maltzmuseum.org.