Youth Vote Winner for Poster
11th Grade, San Diego
This stirring image of an inclusive quest for liberty and justice for all (a winner of our February Youth Vote) was created by a 11th grader. As teacher Ms. Bandy describes, she did a lesson using the New York Times Learning Network’s “25 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias, and Identity with Students,” which involved video segments, individual reflections, and whole-class discussion. (This lesson can be found here: http://usvshate.org/more-specific-anti-hate-lessons/) She utilized the “Tools for Productive Group Dialogues” in preparation to facilitate conversations about topics like colorism and other markers of privilege. She feels students crave these discussions and are ready to have them, because they are processing everything going on in the world. This message became a poster sent back to participating classrooms!
Staff Vote Winner for Poster
V., 10th grade, Chula Vista, CA
A 10th grader made this powerful #USvsHate message of every community “fighting for equality” and inclusion for “everyone.” The week after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, teacher Ms. Espinoza decided to do a brief study of antisemitism before conducting other curriculum in her English classes. “I normally wait until the Spring to read and write about justice and silence, but in light of what happened, I thought it was important that we discuss what happened and contextualize it,” Ms. Espinoza says. “A key question that came up right away was ‘why are the Jews a target?’ I thought it was really important to unpack that because without understanding the Jewish people’s history, it would be really difficult to understand antisemitism. We started by watching “Why the Jews,” an interview from Sheryl Ochayon, Project Director at Yad Vashem, and Dr. Robert Rozett, a Holocaust expert, published by Echoes and Reflections. We then reviewed Anti-Defamation League’s “Pyramid of Hate” and then compared both texts to “Overcoming Hatred in Our Backyards” by Mica Pollock. The goal was to understand our current news cycle of antisemitism in the context of history, pervasive stereotypes, and the Holocaust.”In the middle of our discussion, a few students brought up some feelings about school curricula and representation – ‘why don’t we discuss Black lives that are taken?’ I wanted to validate these feelings and spend time on the history of the Black Lives Matter movement, so we discussed its mission and purpose, and why it makes sense to study both antisemitism and racism. To provide an introduction to the movement, we read a Black Lives Matter lesson from http://usvshate.org/more-specific-anti-hate-lessons/).”
“V. is a 10th grader who created her winning poster ‘When you fight for equality, fight for everyone!’ because she was inspired by the lessons that we studied. She thought a clean, simple message with bright colors might be the most effective at convincing others to support the causes about which she cares. V. hopes that her poster serves as a reminder to students across the county that they should use their voice in a positive way to support people who suffer injustices daily in America.” The poster is being sent back to participating classrooms!
Youth Vote Winner for Poster
G., Chula Vista, CA
G., another 10th grader in Ms. Espinoza’s 10th grade English classes, created her poster with a similar message in mind. As Ms. Espinoza puts it, “She focused on wanting to make a positive message. The sources that we looked at felt so bleak, she described, that she wanted to find a way to be encouraging of her peers to consider differences a good thing rather than something that separates us.” G. described her piece, a Youth Choice this winter, as “peoples’ appreciation of differences dripping down a canvas to cover up the hatred.” This poster is also on its way to participating classrooms!
Staff Vote Winner for Sticker
Xenia, San Diego, CA
Xenia, a 7th grader, made this thought-provoking #USvsHate image about the many layers of our identities after her teacher, Ms. Van De Vanter, tried the lessons on Racism is Real (AFT/Share My Lesson) and Experiences with Race and Racism (Anti-Defamation League). (These lessons can be found here: http://usvshate.org/more-specific-anti-hate-lessons/). As Ms. Van De Vanter describes, “The class voted to make different versions of the same theme to reflect what they learned—that is, how our multiple identities interact to create complex human beings–and to teach others to look beyond the surface of our outer appearances.” Xenia’s won the Staff vote.
Youth Vote Winner for Video
6th grade class, National City, CA
At Central School in the National School District, 32 sixth graders made a powerful #USvsHate call to be “upstanders” against injustice. Their video was a winner of the Youth Vote this winter! As teacher Kym Tobias describes, “After studying the Holocaust with a focus on courageous people who stood up for those being persecuted, as well as certain youth leaders of the civil rights movement, students created a video explaining what they learned and the importance of tolerance and being an ‘upstander.’ The intention is that students will move on from our school and enter secondary schools with the skills that empower them to make positive changes in their community and our society. They will understand that change begins with them.”
Youth Vote Winner for Poem
8th Grade, Chula Vista, CA
“Everyone around you is equal and valid!” An eighth grader made this call to recognize our common humanity after teacher Carmela Golden-Reyna invited students to join the EPIC Club, which stands for Equality, Peace, Inclusion, and Community. “In the club,” Golden-Reyna says, “students discuss their concerns about feeling discriminated against because of their gender identity, ability, race, or sexual orientation. When it came time to work on #USvsHate messaging, this student invoked her own experiences with feeling like an outsider and wrote a poem to remind young people like her that our differences make us special and that we should appreciate and embrace them.” This poem was a winner of the winter Youth Vote and was reproduced for participating classrooms.
Staff Vote Winner for Video
1st Grade, Poway, CA
We had never seen an anti-hate message made out of Legos before! But this first grade class figured out how to reach other children with this powerful #USvsHate call for including all in a school community.
Teacher Perucho-Green describes how “We read the book One, by Kathryn Otoshi, to start our conversation into becoming upstanders stemming from a place of love.” (They used the Lesson based on the book One by Kathryn Otoshi , from Teaching For Change/Black Minds Matter at School).
Then, Ms. Perucho-Green adds, “We read a couple of her other books as well! We also did Name Calling And Feeling Safe In School (Human Rights Campaign/Welcoming Schools).”
(All these lessons can be found here: http://usvshate.org/foundational-anti-hate-lessons/)
To produce this Staff Vote winner, “After researching different ways of becoming upstanders, students shared personal stories of times they’d witnessed, or been the target of hate at school that they wished had ended differently. They selected one of their stories in small groups, wrote screenplays with ‘upstander endings’, and brought in toys from home to reenact the scenes.”
Youth Vote Winner for Bookmark
6th Grade, San Diego
“Be different — be happy — be what you want to be!” Sixth graders created bookmarks for their #USvsHate messages, because they felt this would make anti-hate messages visible to every student every day. Student Sylvia made this anti-hate message in bookmark form, after teacher Mr. Kim did a lesson on the “Bullying and Bystander Effect.” (Such lessons can be found here: http://usvshate.org/foundational-anti-hate-lessons/) Mr. Kim felt this lesson was a good starting point to branch out into other topics on specific hate forms, and plans to works towards lessons on homophobia and other LGBTQ issues later in the school year. Sylvia’s bookmark was a winner of the winter Youth Vote. Mr. Kim views public anti-hate messaging as lights of positivity on campus, particularly for students who might not normally speak out about their experiences with bullying. We’re producing this bookmark for participating classrooms!