4th Year for Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out!

Scholarships Now Can Be Used Within or Outside Ohio


(October 14, 2011 – Cleveland, OH)  At this year’s September 11th commemoration on Public Square seven young people read personal essays reflecting their experience with prejudice and what they are doing to stop it. All were finalists and winners in the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage 2010 Stop the Hate: Youth Speak Out! essay contest.


The Museum is again challenging students in grades 6-12 to take personal responsibility to combat hatred, discrimination and intolerance by participating in the 2011-12 contest.  For the first time, scholarship winners may now select the college of their choice within or outside Ohio; “For the first three years, scholarship winners were required to select an Ohio college or university” said Judi Feniger, Maltz Museum Executive Director “but we wanted to remove any barriers for students wishing to express themselves on this issue by entering the contest.”


Now in its fourth year, Stop The Hate gets students thinking, writing and talking about what they’ve seen and heard, and taking responsibility for how they can help stop prejudice and discrimination. In the past three years, nearly 5,000 students have submitted essays. Subjects ranged from bullying to racial discrimination to sexual orientation and mental/physical challenges.


Stop The Hate asks students to describe an act of discrimination, reflect on their response and write a 500-word essay with a plan of action to affect change. Essays are scored on content, writing, originality and creativity, and integration of the theme of personal responsibility. Top-scoring entries advance to the finals.


High school juniors and seniors compete for three college scholarships of up to $50,000 as well as other prizes and educational resource materials for their schools. The ten scholarship finalists read their essays at a ceremony to be held on Sunday, April 22, 2012, where winners will be selected. Students in grades 6-10 are eligible for cash prizes, field trips and educational resource materials.


Essays for 6th-10th graders are due December 6, 2011. The deadline for 11th and 12thgraders is January 24, 2012. Students are encouraged to submit their essays electronically through the official Stop the Hate website. Complete information, current guidelines and copies of all past winning essays are also available on the website.


Schools can arrange a Stop The Hate guided tour of the Museum designed to help them prepare students to write their essays, or dozens of other tours aligned with Ohio State Academic Content Standards. “The Stop the Hate essay contest gives young people a chance to express themselves about the consequences of bullying and become leaders for change,” remarks Judi Feniger, Executive Director of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.


This year’s Stop The Hate: Youth Speak Out! is sponsored by Dealer Tire and KeyBank.