Chosen by 2022 #USvsHate participants. See also Winners from our Spring 2022 Special Call, where we asked youth to weigh in directly on inclusive teaching they want to see in schools.
Jada, 11th Grade, Smyrna, DE
Student creator Jada shares, “As a young black woman, I chose to address the issue of women’s rights using an image that represents me and others like me.”
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Victoria, 12th Grade, Plantation, FL
Student creator Victoria shares, “The message is that children from privileged backgrounds aren’t exposed to the cruelties of environmental injustice. Appealing to the innocence of children provides the perspectives of both those kids who are forced to live in worse conditions because of environmental racism, and those who are privileged enough to have never experienced it since both of these kids will choose the ‘dollhouse’ on the right. However, some are never given the opportunity to choose. .. the main message is that everybody deserves clean air and water, as this is an innate right…. Environmental racism is a problem that doesn’t receive as much press as it should…I believe this is the first step to the achieving environmental equity and #USvsHate is actively manifesting this change.”
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Ezekiel, 9th Grade, Studio City, CA
Student creator Ezekiel shares: “Throughout English class, we learned about how different groups fall into society and how they are treated…These open conversations brought the class to a better understanding of each other and the world around us. As soon as the #USvsHate project was assigned, I knew I wanted to combat antisemitism through my anti-hate message…to educate others about how Jews are treated worldwide so that we as global citizens can work towards more of an inclusive society. My hope for this anti-hate message is to make people more aware and think twice before making generalizations or judging a marginalized community.”
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Ondine, 9th Grade, Studio City, CA
Student creator Ondine shares: “I wanted…to create a snapshot into the consciousness of what it’s like to be a woman. I reflected on all the insecurities I had growing up, most of them surrounding the belief that my face, my body, my brain, myself as a whole was not enough, that my blemishes should be covered up, zapped, and picked at until they were no longer visible…. I thought of all the strong women in my life. My goal was to create a piece that accepted and celebrated our differences while still providing a sense of unity and togetherness…. This project is dedicated to every person who has been reduced to a single word: May they discover and appreciate the beautiful mosaic of their true authentic selves.”
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Anonymous, 11th Grade, New York
The student creator shares, “Through my poem, I hope to portray the importance of respecting and acknowledging various differences of others (e.g., appearance, cultural aspects), especially in the United States as we have such a diverse demographic. Being a part of a cultural community that is often not understood and even disrespected in the United States, I wanted to take this chance to encourage everyone to realize how important it is to not hate on and respect each other’s culture, as this would be a big step in bringing equality and peace in America.”
Niall, 10th Grade, Perth Amboy, NJ
Student creator Niall shares, “I chose to draw this image because women deserve respect for all the things they do for us. Whether some people like to acknowledge it or not, society would never exist without women. I look up to my mom, she’s one of the strongest people I know and I just feel like I never appreciate everything she does for me enough. Women are scholars, fighters, mothers, warriors, heroes, etc. and they deserve to be heard and loved.”
Sarah, 11th Grade, Florida
Student creator Sarah shares: “I want all pronouns to be respected and everyone to be referred to by their specific pronouns. Many in the LGBTQ+ community introduce themselves by saying that they are their preferred pronouns which implies that they could be referred to with other pronouns. But that is not true if someone says that they want to be referred to by certain pronouns, those are their pronouns and that should be respected. Calling someone pronouns that aren’t theirs is extremely rude. I use they/them pronouns myself, so I know what it’s like for people to use she/her pronouns as soon as they see me. While, I have been lucky enough to not have anyone be rude enough to use she/her on purpose, I have friends that have gone through this and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through it.”
Miranda, 11th Grade, Perth Amboy, NJ
Student creator Miranda shares: “I don’t spend a lot of time on social media, yet when I did I saw so much hate going to people who were just trying to love their bodies….[but] I was also able to see those with different body types trying out different styles and clothing..[and] ..I was inspired by these people who stopped letting the hate get to them. No matter what your size is or the shape of your body, that is not what defines you.”
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*Schoolwide collaboration recognition: DEI Committee, Carlsbad, CA
The creators explain, “In the DEI committee we have talked about … the experiences we have had as students of color. When we learned about the #USvsHate project we wanted to share our experiences because just like we were relieved to find support in one another, we wanted other students to know that they are not alone. … We made a video that showcases that stereotypes have negative effects on people because they do not show the true story behind a person…we are thriving and we are fighting to break down these stereotypes. At the end of the day, we are all humans. For our community, we are all Lancers.”
Committee advisor Aimee shares: “The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee is a group of students, teachers, and administrators that came together at the beginning of this year to address current issues that students of color face at our school. This committee had one goal: Listen to students and together make change. As the committee began meeting and the students began expressing the different issues they were facing, we came across the USvsHate project. The students felt the platform would give us an opportunity to work together, to send a message, and to express the feelings we often keep to ourselves. As a group we have grown closer making our voices heard and amplifying that together it is USvsHate.”
4th Grade, Poway, California
Teacher Artemisa shares: “Each student chose a message that was particularly important to them. The variety of their messages speaks to the unique thoughts and feelings of each student around #USvsHate topics.”
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Enrique, 10th Grade, San Diego, California
Teacher Patrick shares: “In 10th grade English, we are reading and discussing the graphic novel, American Born Chinese. This is a fantastic book that addresses the stereotypes placed on Asian-Americans and the difficulties of adjusting to life in a place where nobody else looks like you. In addition to reading the graphic novel, we studied the concept of stereotypes and where they come from, as well as watched a Youth TED Talk on the stereotypes that LatinX students face today. After all of this, students were asked to create a message that spoke out against stereotypes (or a specific hate form) or create a message to empower/include its audience.”
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9th Grade, San Diego, California
Student creator shares: “I wanted to spread more awareness about Asian-hate in a way that I thought could be very effective. … I spent time making a song inspired by other conscious hiphop artists like Kendrick Lamar. Music is a universal language and it’s through this language I believe we can unite as a country to eradicate hate of all forms.”
Kimberly, 9th Grade, San Diego, California
Student Kimberly says, “I wanted to create a simple filter with a powerful meaning behind it. I’ve struggled a lot in my life to be seen equally as other males around me. Females are so capable of doing the same as any other male…..we are all equals whether one identifies as either male or female or both or neither. …this simple drawing on the cheek is to support the equalities of all genders, we are all human and just because someone is born/identifies as a certain way doesn’t mean they are any less than you.”
Teacher Ray adds, “Bigotry and hate can be very blatant, but other times very subtle and just as damaging. Students in my computer science courses this semester studied the UN’s Global Goals which hope to end extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change by 2030. The students chose topics that meant the most to them and then created AR (augmented reality) photo filters that they posted onto the Facebook/Instagram and platforms which have billions of users for others to interact and use their filters in Reels and social posts.”
Riley & Sophia, 9th Grade, Studio City, California
Student creator Riley shares: “The topic of environmental racism is not talked about nearly enough. It is prevalent all over the world, and very noticeable in my hometown of Los Angeles. Stereotypes exist around areas of color and lower income, but what has failed to be understood is that the government has a big part in maintaining those stigmas. When the EPA is identifying an area as hazardous, it takes much longer for a predominantly low income community of color to be identified. Even though there are so many more threatening chemicals in less privileged areas, they are not treated with the same amount of care as privileged areas…The difference in care and respect of individual communities diminishes the unification a city should have. So, this really begs the question; ‘Why are different pieces of LA part of different puzzles?’”
Brittany, Amelia, Claire, 9th Grade, Studio City, California
Student creator Claire shares: “As a female teenager who has dealt with insecurities regarding my body, I wanted to share a positive message for other young girls who also deal with body image issues…. I desire for everyone who looks at this poster to feel confident in their body and delete the ideology that their body is not society’s definition of ‘the perfect body.’ With social media creating unrealistic expectations for girls at such a young age, body positivity is crucial to make girls feel accepted.”
Dylan, 9th Grade, Studio City, California
Student creator Dylan shares: “I think it is important to look out not only for my current generation, but for the many generations ahead. As climate change is on the rise, it receives more hate and denial. … I hope that this project will allow people to understand the hateful truths behind climate change, even though it may not seem to affect most of us living in more prosperous countries. … Less fortunate countries are at the end of all of the hate speeches and denial that is being spread about climate change. …These speeches corrupt others’ minds and oppose the views of science and those affected.”
Kasy & Jordan, 11th Grade, Plantation, Florida
Student creators Kasy and Jordan share: “Racism and sexism are very prevalent in black women’s everyday life. Our intentions are to inform people that Black Women Matter and shouldn’t be overlooked or undermined. For centuries the black women in America have been oppressed and have had to work much harder. As black women in society this drawing is a reminder that black women are excellent, and do matter. In the workplace or just in everyday life we are placed at a disadvantage and have to work harder to close the gap. The message is to raise awareness and have people grasp a deeper understanding of the different factors that cause the gap in wages, education, politics, and much more.”
Marley, 11th Grade, La Habra, California
Student creator Marley shares: “I am a 17 year old high school student who has found myself to be alive in a time when questioning and experimenting with one’s gender identity is quite common. For a while now I have found myself, like others around me in my generation, actively questioning my gender identity. …not everyone is the same cookie cutter person that fits into the same box. In today’s society there are so many more people than before who are more open and willing to explore themselves as a person and find out exactly who they are and what gender identity/identities they most align with. Therefore I wanted my message to show that not everyone is the same, not everyone aligns with the same gender identities. Cisgender is not the only gender identity to exist in this world there are others.”
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Nickolas, 11th Grade, La Habra, CA
Student creator Nickolas shares, “My intentions behind this message is to help inform people about the discrimination and struggles Latin American immigrants face in this country. I hope that these poems help give some light to how so many immigrants in the country are still treated and ridiculed because of their ethnicity. My lived experience connects to these poems and the topic I chose to discuss because many of my older relatives are immigrants. Many of my relatives, such as my (great) grandparents, have immigrated from Mexico into the US, and have done so much and have worked so hard to help sustain not only themselves but their family.”
Amehja, 12th Grade, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Student creator Amehja shares: “As someone who has been pursuing STEAM fields since I was quite young, I am no stranger to feeling self-conscious in a space that has historically marginalized women and people of color. While writing this piece, I thought about how my unapologetic exploration of STEM and art could… protest against the preconceived notions people might have about me as a young black girl and others with similar ambitions. ….. in order to progress, both socially and otherwise, we need to value both the authentic differences and similarities we have with each other.”