Annual ‘Stop the Hate’ scholarship program launches

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CLEVELAND — The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is now accepting applications for its annual Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out essay writing contest.

The contest, focused on students speaking out in support of diversity and inclusion, has engaged an estimated 30,000 student participants across 12 Northeast Ohio counties and awarded $1 million to students and schools in scholarships and anti-bias education grants over the last ten years. This milestone year kicks off the second decade of the Stop the Hate, and it is as timely as ever.

Last year’s $40,000 grand prize winner was Hannah Shuffer of Orange High School, who wrote of her brother Nathan who has cerebral palsy, saying:

“It is inexpressibly hard to watch people treat my brother like he has no feelings, like he is lesser than, like he is not human. I soon began to realize that like most forms of discrimination, people’s preconceived notions had blinded them from truth.”

Hannah’s full essay reading is available on the Maltz Museum’s YouTube channel, along with the other remarkable top ten finalists.

About Stop the Hate®

Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out celebrates the voices of young people in Northeast Ohio standing up and speaking out against hate. By reflecting on real-life situations and sharing ways to create a more inclusive community, students can win big for themselves and their schools.

Each year, through the generosity of a donor, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage gives out $100,000 in scholarships, awards and anti-bias education in recognition of 6-12th grade upstanders in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull and Wayne counties.

About this year’s theme

Each year, a new theme is selected for students to consider. This year, the Museum honors the memory and influence of one of the most widely known young writers in history, Anne Frank. As a Jewish teenager living in hiding during the Holocaust, Anne Frank wrote:

How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straight away!

The application asks students to consider, “Over 75 years later, what can be learned from Anne’s perspective on human nature? Can everyday, average people change the world? Think about your own life. Have you witnessed or experienced acts of injustice, racism, bigotry, or discrimination? How were you impacted by what you experienced, saw, or heard? What did you do, or what will you do, in response to these circumstances in order to create justice and positive change in your community?”

In 500 words or less, students are encouraged to share their experiences and submit their essay by the deadline based on grade category.

Grades 6-10
ESSAYS DUE: Wednesday, January 9, 2019; 11:59 p.m.

Grades 11 & 12
ESSAYS DUE: Wednesday, January 16, 2019; 11:59 p.m.

For more information on participation, please contact Manger of Public Programs, Stop the Hate, Ben Becker at 216-593-0577, bbecker@mmjh.org, or visit the Maltz Museum online at www.maltzmusuem.org/stop-the-hate.

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