Two CH students win #USvsHate national competition

Congratulations to Valeria B. ’21 and Anya R. ’21 who were selected as national winners in the #USvsHate competition to create public anti-hate messages. #USvsHate is a Teaching Tolerance program aimed at improving the nation’s social climate through embracing and promoting inclusion and justice in our diverse schools and society.
In the spring of 2020, High School English teacher Carlos Castellanos taught the #USvsHate unit in his 11th grade class as part of a broader social justice curriculum. Students nominated their peers for submission to the competition.

Valeria’s art piece is a complex design of fragmented mirror pieces and colored glass scattered around the mask of a human face, a commentary on society’s standards of beauty. The silver chain woven throughout emphasizes the words that “the chains need to be broken”. The gorgeous work is matched by the powerful words she uses to uplift and remind the viewer that “beautiful is everything that makes you, you.”

Valeria writes: “Beautiful is whatever you make it, not what others say it has to be. Write your own narrative and make sure that you blossom into the person you want to be in this world. Everyone is beautiful in their own ways, and once that’s realized you will hold the strongest form of magic in the world, love.”

Anya’s spoken word poetry piece is a personal and powerful look into what it is like to feel the effects of both stereotyping and the sense of not belonging. She writes: “The Coronavirus pandemic is reminding the Asian American community that their belonging is conditional. One moment we were Americans, the next we were contagious foreigners. Asian Americans have tirelessly persisted through oppression for years in the forms of alienization, otherization, discrimination, and racism, yet our struggle is overlooked and not acknowledged. Damaging stereotypes such as the model minority myth have caused Asian American struggles to be invalidated and unnoticed.”

Click here to see the winning contest submissions including those of Valeria and Anya.
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