The Spokane Community Observance of the Holocaust has announced the top three selections in the high school division of the 13th annual Eva Lassman Memorial Writing and Art Contests. The contest theme is “Speaking Up for ‘the Other’.”
The contest asked participants to learn about the Holocaust and read about or listen to some of the many stories of survivors who were labeled “the other” by the Nazis, and consider these questions:
What are the lessons you learned from their stories that had a major impact on you? Why is it important to speak up for those who are considered “the other”?
Who are “the other” today? Based on the lessons you learned, what are you motivated to do to speak up for them?
If you go
The contest winners will be recognized at the Spokane Community Observance of the Holocaust on Sunday, April 28, 7pm, at Temple Beth Shalom, 1322 E. 30th Ave., on Spokane’s South Hill. The winner of the Creative Writing Contest will read her essay at the Observance. Everyone is invited to attend.\
First place art, high school
‘Empathy in Action’
By Kiarra Dupree
East Valley High School
In reality, people are different sizes. Short, tall, fat, skinny, etc. By painting them in slightly different shapes and sizes and making over a hundred shades of gray, I represent the diversity we see in all forms every day, marching and “speaking up for the others.” I left their figures faceless and vague to show how similar everyone is underneath.
The signs that are being held all represent activists who are speaking up for themselves or others who may not be able to speak for themselves, whether because they are not here or do not feel safe to do so.
Black Lives Matter advocates for the black community to be given the same respect and value as everyone else. Resist refers to people standing up against the discrimination and violence facing our country. A green ribbon signifies mental health awareness in a neuronormative society, whereas 1 in 5 adults are affected by mental illness in the U.S. The #MeToo movement has blown up as victims of sexual harassment and assault stand up for themselves and point out their aggressors.
I Have A Dream is from the famous speech of the same name by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about ending the segregation between black and white. A rainbow behind the phrase Love Always Wins symbolizes all the hard work the LGBT community put into finally legalizing same-sex marriage.
The Don’t Tread On Me flag originates from the Revolutionary War when Americans were oppressed by British rule and fought for independence. Social media was taken over with Pray For Paris in support of everyone who lost a life or a loved one in the series of terrorist attacks in 2015. I Am A Man was a popular slogan during a strike in the middle of the Civil Rights movement. The words Never Forget next to the Twin Towers are a salute to the loss we had on 9/11/01.
In 2014, 276 Nigerian girls were kidnapped, launching the #BringBackOurGirls campaign engrossing people around the world. Make Love Not War came from anti-war groups against the Vietnam War and has been used since. The Occupy movement coined the saying “We Are The 99%” to take a stand against corruption and end discrepancy of individuals through their socioeconomic status.
When Colin Kaepernick knelt during the National Anthem, he sparked the #TakeAKnee movement in honor of the violence and oppression toward black people. Finally, the phrase Never Again has been tied to the aftermath of the Holocaust, but was recently reappropriated in reference to the 17 left dead after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting which accounts for the third deadliest school shooting and deadliest secondary school shooting in the U.S.
The march is meant to be moving away from the colorful flames in the background, which are a tribute to the Holocaust as well. Similarly, the colors portray the idea of “the rainbow after the rain.”
I wanted to show the progress that has been made for “the other” throughout history and is continuing to be made today. The adversity we go through shows us just how resilient we can be, and how much power we really have.
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