#USvsHate: The Winners Are In!

We are pleased to share the winners of the #USvsHate challenge. These winning messages counter bigotry and promote safe and welcoming communities.
Illustration by Shannon Anderson

The votes are in! We are pleased to share our selected winners of the Teaching Tolerance #USvsHate challenge. We received more than 60 entries from educators across the country whose students promoted inclusion in artwork regarding issues like immigration, ableism, transphobia and female empowerment. 

In our #USvsHate initiative, students create artistic messages that counter the bias, bigotry and hate that is all too commonplace in our public narratives. Participating caregivers and educators choose from a curated collection of lessons on topics like racism, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia and more. They guide students through these lessons to build an inclusive school community. Students then create anti-hate messages based on their learning. These are messages made by students and for students. They communicate that people across lines of difference are all equally valuable; they challenge stereotypes; or they explicitly address and refuse a specific form of hate, bias or injustice. The messages can come in any form.

This spring, we assembled a team of anti-bias educators to select pieces that communicate powerful messages and captivate the viewer. These four winning messages exemplify strong stances against bigotry and advocate for safe and welcoming communities.

All participating classrooms will receive digital copies of the winning messages, and we are excited to share the winners on our social media channels. Stay tuned for more details as we gear up for our next anti-hate messaging challenge this fall! 

To all who participated, thank you for helping send the message that hate has no home in your school. We are pleased to share the work of the winners of the #USvsHate challenge with you, and we hope you’ll be inspired to post their artwork in your own community.

Words Matter

Name: Randall Elementary School Gender & Sexuality Alliance
Grades: Elementary School
Location: Madison, WI
Medium: Video

This video, created by an elementary school Gender and Sexuality Alliance, encourages thoughtfulness in using words to describe a person’s identity.

"Words Matter!!!"

View the full video here.

“The Randall GSA believes ‘Words Matter.’ Use names and pronouns correctly. Gender and sexuality are a part of our identity, not put-downs. Words have history, especially with regard to race and ability/disability. Think before you speak. Choose kind. Be an ally. Please enjoy our video to hear more about why words matter.” 
–The Randall GSA

Youth Justice Squad

Name: Chavista Social Justice Project 
Grades: Middle School
Location: San Diego, CA
Medium: Comic book

In this comic book, young superheroes act as “upstanders” and fight injustice at the border between the United States and Mexico.

Comic book cover of "Youth Justice Squad."

View the full comic book here.

“The Bell Chavista Social Justice Project participated in a human rights institute with the American Friends Service Committee and produced the Youth Justice Squad comic book in collaboration with Little Fish Comic Book Studio and One Book, One San Diego featuring Battle at the Border, applying lessons learned about people working together to promote humane treatment for those in need.” 
–Kyle Weinberg, Laurie Bailon-Yagyagan and the Bell Chavista Social Justice Project

Verdict: Not Guilty

Name: Lily
Grades: Middle School
Location: Chula Vista, CA 
Medium: Collage

In this collage, the words “Verdict Not Guilty” are printed above unnamed Black and Brown faces. In the background, newspaper clippings show headlines about police brutality towards people of color.

Art collage featuring the words "Not Guilty."

“I thought it was important to keep talking about racism & how it affects the Black community. Black people are still being treated differently & killed at way higher rates than is ok. We watched the 2011 movie Bully, discussed all the different societal issues, had a Socratic seminar, then began our art.” 

Nina Simone

Names: Amy and Emely
Grades: High School
Location: La Jolla, CA
Medium: Collage

This collage showcases jazz singer Nina Simone and the words “equality,” “BLM Black Lives matter,” “#USvsHate” and “#MeToo” surround her visage.

Art collage of Nina Simone.

“We chose Nina Simone because she struggled with mental illness and racism, but she was still able to express herself through music and equality for the POC community. Nina used music to release her anger about the mistreatment of Black people. Her music was a form of protest and influenced many Black people to be enraged about inequality.” 
–Amy and Emely