STOP THE HATE®: YOUTH SPEAK OUT Rewards Young Visionaries with $100,000 in Prizes

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Essay Contest Encourages 6-9th Graders in Northeast Ohio to Bring About a More Inclusive Future

What can you do to create a more inclusive future? That question is at the core of the Stop the Hate®: Youth Speak Out, an annual contest sponsored by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage (http://www.maltzmuseum.org/stop-the-hate) that encourages social responsibility while fostering an appreciation for people of diverse backgrounds. Private, public, online and home-schooled students (grades 6-12) in the Ohio counties of Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit are invited to submit 500-word essays describing a real-life act of discrimination they experienced or witnessed and detailing creative ways they can help end discrimination and indifference in their communities. And for 15 students and three schools there’s a real reward for being a voice for positive change—$100,000 in cash prizes and scholarships.

“Religion, gender, ethnicity, orientation, age—our great nation is fueled by the diversity of our citizens and our differences combine to give our country its uniqueness as a world’s great melting pot,” asserts Museum Founder Milton Maltz. “This contest is a platform that encourages individuality and celebrates those students who stand out and stand up for what they believe.”

Last year’s Stop the Hate® grand prize winner Justin Bachman is one such student. “I wanted to show the world that being different was okay,” wrote Bachman in his essay. The Solon High School student with Tourette Syndrome, ADHD and dysgraphia founded Honor Good Deeds, an organization that promoting self-acceptance, community and compassion by building leadership skills and a sense of community.

Essay submission opened October 15, in the middle of National Bullying Prevention Month, an initiative that Maltz Museum executive director Ellen Rudolph feels fits in well with the contest. “The Museum works to spark communication and build bridges among diverse communities,” explains Rudolph. “Stop the Hate takes that vision to our youth, inspiring students to understand and draw strength from differences amongst their peers.” Because, as Rocky River Middle School’s Thomas Schill, last year’s 8th Grade 1st Place Winner wrote in his essay, “Stopping hate also means stopping to think how other people feel.”

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm on Thursday, January 29, 2015 for students in grades 6-10 and Thursday, February 26, 2015 for students in grades 11-12. Winners will be determined at a Thursday, April 30, 2015 awards ceremony at Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Auditorium.

Stop the Hate®: Youth Speak Out is presented by Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage with the generous support of Cleveland Clinic, Dealer Tire, Lubrizol, the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation and Nordson Corporation. Teachers are invited to implement Stop the Hate® as a classroom project. For inspiration, deadlines, past winning essays, related Museum tours and complete rules, visit http://www.maltzmuseum.org/stop-the-hate and follow @stopthehateUS on Twitter.

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FOR FACEBOOK, TWITTER OR LINKEDIN: NE #Ohio 6-12 graders can stand up to discrimination for chance at $100k in prizes. @maltzmuseum #stopthehate contest: http://bit.ly/STHcontest

MALTZ MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE The Maltz Museum celebrates culture and identity to encourage connection and promote a greater appreciation of Jewish heritage and the diversity of the human experience. Personal stories of struggle, courage and creativity are brought to life through interactive exhibitions and thought-provoking programs. For more information, visit maltzmuseum.org and follow us on Twitter @maltzmuseum and @stopthehateUS.

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Sam Fryberger

Roshi Ahmadian
@stopthehateUS
since: 07/2014
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