Top 25 Stop the Hate® Contest Finalists Announced

Award Ceremony to be held April 2 naming this Year’s Winners

(CLEVELAND, OH) March 9, 2020 – The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage is proud to announce the names of the top 25 finalists competing in the 12th Annual Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out which annually awards scholarships and prizes to middle and high school students speaking out against bias and discrimination. Winners will be named in front of a live audience on Thursday, April 2 at 6:30PM at Severance Hall. Free and open to the public, advance registrations are encouraged to guarantee seating.

For more information, call 216.593.0575. Online registration available here >>>

The Maltz Museum’s Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out essay writing contest is now in its 12th year and as timely as ever; students are asked to consider the benefits of a more inclusive society, the consequences of intolerance, and the role of personal responsibility in effecting change.
Through the generosity of a donor, the Maltz Museum annually awards $100,000 in recognition of 6-12th grade upstanders. In 2020, the amount awarded to students and schools participating in Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out and Youth Sing Out will total $1.2 million. An estimated 30,000+ students have participated across 12 counties in Northeast Ohio since the contest was launched twelve years ago.

This prestigious contest offers students the chance to win personal scholarships and schools to receive anti-bias education grants. Thousands enter, twenty-five finalists are named, and the winners are announced at an inspiring event where the top ten essays are read live in front of a panel of judges.

The top 25 finalists for 2020 Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out are:

Top 10 Juniors & Seniors, competing for grand prize of $40,000 in scholarships

  • Daijanae Crenshaw, Grade 12, Cleveland School of Science and Medicine
  • Vita S. Davis, Grade 12,Valley Forge High School
  • Kennedy Fletcher, Grade 12, Shaker Heights High School
  • Faicia Giddings, Grade 11, Cleveland School of the Arts
  • Tatiana Lipert, Grade 12, Saint Joseph Academy
  • Leah Messemer, Grade 12, Hudson High School
  • Julia Newman, Grade 12, Hawken School
  • Kathleen Pagán Arzola, Grade 12, James Ford Rhodes High School
  • Savannah Patterson, Beaumont School
  • Nia Terrell, Grade 12, Charles F. Brush High School

Grades 6-10 competing for $400 awards, by grade

6th grade

  • Annabel Green, Hudson Middle School
  • Guneet Karra, Hudson Middle School
  • Eric Robinson, Hudson Middle School

7th grade

  • Eden G. Austin, Beachwood Middle School
  • Kelsey Cohen, Beachwood Middle School
  • Radha Pareek, Beachwood Middle School

8th grade

  • Tolga Cavusoglu, Beachwood Middle School
  • Probir Mukherjee, Beachwood Middle School
  • Noor Sleik, Hudson Montessori

9th grade

  • Ethan Boggs, Firelands High School
  • Jackie Lonsway, Mayfield High School
  • Matthew Thomas, Mayfield High School

10th grade

  • David Kuang, Beachwood High School
  • Nayeli Ocasio, Lincoln-West School of Global Studies
  • Bowen Zhang, Beachwood High School

This year’s panel of judges include:

Antoinette M. Baker, MSM, AVP, Operations Manager, PNC; Greer Gibbons, Project Manager, The Lubrizol Corporation; Eduardo Kim, Partner, Thompson Hine; Gregg Levine, Consultant, Ratliff & Taylor; Monyka Price, Chief of Education, City of Cleveland; and, Cecilia Render, Executive Director, Nordson Corporation Foundation.

Stop the Hate® Youth Sing Out winners will also perform at the award ceremony.

The Maltz Museum partners with Roots of American Music (ROAM) and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to celebrated the voices of young people standing up to bias and bigotry through the annual Stop the Hate® Youth Sing Out contest held in November and December of 2019. Nearly 1,100 students from 17 middle school classes and 24 high school classes representing 14 different schools participated this academic year, to pen and perform original songs.

This annual program sharpens written and oral language skills while fostering a deeper understanding of historic human rights events as an arts-integrated learning initiative. Students visit the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage for a Stop the Hate tour. They reflect on what they’ve learned, consider bias they’ve experienced in their own lives, and discuss how to use their voice to be an upstander. Students then return to their classrooms where they partner with a ROAM musician who works with them to write an original song. The songs are performed in front of a panel of judges at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where students also learn about the power of music in protest.

This year’s Youth Sing Out judges were: representatives from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Scene, The Music Settlement, The Center for Arts Inspired Learning, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, and Cleveland’s arts community.

In addition to receiving anti-bias education grants for their schools, winners are invited to perform their original songs in front of approximately 500 audience members during the Stop the Hate® Youth Speak Out award ceremony.

This year’s Stop the Hate® Youth Sing Out Winners are (only 1st place performs):

High School Winners

  • First Place, awarded $5,000: Cleveland Heights High School for their songs “E.T.A.H.” and “We Can Change Our World”
  • Runner Up, awarded $2,500: Midview High School for their song “Unjustifiable”

Middle School Winners

  • First Place, awarded $5,000: Wade Park for their song “Yours N Mine”
  • Runner Up, awarded $2,500: Newton D Baker for their song “Fight The Hate Don’t Discriminate”

The award ceremony is free and open to the public. The event beings at 6:30PM on April 2, 2020 and will be held at the Severance Hall. Registrations are encouraged to guarantee seating, 216-593-0575 or

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Stop the Hate® is made possible by the generous support of Presenting Sponsors: The Semi J. and Ruth Begun Foundation and Dworkin & Bernstein; For Youth Speak Out: Dealer Tire, Dominion Energy, the Nordson Corporation Foundation, and the Helen F. Stolier and Louis Stolier Family Foundation; For Youth Sing Out: The Abington Foundation, the Eva L. and Joseph M. Bruening Foundation, the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. The Maltz Museum is generously supported by: Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Jewish Federation of Cleveland, and Ohio Arts Council