The 12th Annual “Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out” scholarship contest for 6th through 12th graders kicks off with a launch event at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. On Wednesday, September 11 at 4:30 p.m., the public is invited to hear one of last year’s contest finalists, Kennon Walton from University School, who will share his award-winning essay and learn what it’s like to participate in the contest.
Students interested in entering for a chance to win prizes ranging from $400 to $40,000, will learn about contest guidelines, get tips on how to write a great essay, and have the opportunity to ask questions of program staff. After the presentation, attendees can enjoy a self-guided tour of the Maltz Museum’s core exhibition, “An American Story.” This free event is open to all middle and high school students, their parents, and educators. Pizza will be served. (Registration encouraged but not required; 216-593-0575)
The Maltz Museum annually awards $100,000 in scholarships and anti-bias education grants through the Stop the Hate contest, which gives Northeast Ohio students a platform to voice their experiences with bias and discrimination and speak out in support of diversity and inclusion. Now in its 12th year, the contest has so far engaged more than 30,000 students across 12 Northeast Ohio counties and awarded over $1 million to students and schools.
New this year is a Stop the Hate Summit. All contest participants who submit an essay will be invited to join the Summit, which will bring together student upstanders from across Northeast Ohio for a one-day, student-focused conference providing resources and training on diversity and inclusion. Summit attendees will receive a Stop the Hate Upstander Certificate recognizing their commitment to creating a better world that can be used on college applications. Created in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College, the Stop the Hate Summit will be held on April 26, following the contest award ceremony to be held on April 2.
Every year, a new theme is selected to inspire students in their writing. This year, the Maltz Museum honors the memory and spirit of maestro Leonard Bernstein, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, whose life and legacy is explored in the Museum’s special exhibition, “Leonard Bernstein: The Power of Music,” on view September 25 through March 1, 2020. When speaking about why he wrote music, Bernstein famously said, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more devotedly than ever before.”
In 500 words or less, students are invited to think about their own life. Have they witnessed or experienced acts of injustice, racism, bigotry, or discrimination? How were they impacted by what they experienced, saw, or heard? What did they do, or what will they do, in response to these circumstances in order to create justice and positive change in their community?
Essays for grades 6-10 are due January 8, 2020. Essays for grades 11 and 12 are due January 20, 2020.
For more information about the contest, go to maltzmuseum.org/sth.