The Maltz Museum’s 16th Annual Stop the Hate Contest and Program has officially launched for the 2023/2024 school year. Each year, approximately 8,000 students participate in the Stop the Hate program through workshops and tours and about 3,000 students enter the prestigious contest. With the help of 400 volunteer readers, 26 contest finalists, 35+ schools, and 2 Stop the Hate teachers of the year are named. Through the generosity of a donor, $100,000 is awarded in support of standing up and speaking out against hate. The Stop the Hate program is one of the largest scholarship opportunities of its kind in the country that the Maltz Museum is aware of.
Who are the students who are participating?
Northeast Ohio 6th through 12th graders living in or attending public, private, or home school in one of the following twelve counties: Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Wayne counties.
Since the contest started, over 50,000 students in these twelve counties have participated and $1.5 million has been awarded in the form of scholarships, prizes, and anti-bias education grants.
Rooted in the Jewish value of respect for all humanity, the Maltz Museum is proud that it continues to give young people of all faiths and backgrounds a platform to speak out in support of inclusion and diversity, while also supporting continued education in classrooms through grant-making.
How can a student enter the Stop the Hate contest?
Students are invited to pen a personal essay in 500 words or less about bias they have witnessed or experienced and share what they have done or will do in response. A visit to the museum is recommended, however if distance is a barrier, there is a digital Stop the Hate tour which can be accessed online at Learn.MaltzMuseum.org and classrooms can schedule a virtual Holocaust Survivor Speaker. Although encouraged, there is no requirement to attend with a school or as part of a group. Essays can be submitted by an individual independent of their school’s involvement.
How can a teacher bring a school group for a Stop the Hate tour?
School groups are invited at a discounted rate of only $3 per student. Secondary add-on experiences are an additional $2 per student. One adult is admitted free with every ten students. CMSD schools are admitted at no cost, with pre-registration. Please schedule with a minimum notice of two weeks. The museum also offers free transportation for CMSD schools as well as any school with 50% or more of its students participating in the National School Lunch Program. For details, and more information, please email email@example.com.
Stop the Hate tours are approximately 60 minutes in length and can be paired with additional museum offerings. Teachers can choose from having their students 1) meet and talk with a Holocaust survivor and hear a harrowing story of survival and courage; 2) experience how high tech A.I. intersects with the preservation of historical memory when witnessing the Interactive Biographies of Holocaust Survivor Stanley Bernath or Civil Rights Leader Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr.; or 3) participating in a docent led tour of the special exhibition The Girl in the Diary: Searching for Rywka from the Lodz Ghetto, which opens October 25, 2023.
Are there other ways for schools to get involved?
A classroom-based group competition invites classes to tour the museum and then participate in a free workshop with Roots of American Music. Working with a teaching artist, the class will pen an original song. This song becomes the class submission to the contest and is judged by a panel of music experts selected in partnership with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Classroom songs are recorded for future listening! Winning classrooms will receive anti-bias education grants for their school.
In addition, classroom teachers may elect to have essay writing workshops through teaching artists from Lake Erie Ink that guide students through the essay writing process. New this year is the opportunity to pen poems in addition to essays, however poems is exclusively accessible for Lake Erie Workshop students.
Also new this year is the opportunity to apply for one of three Stop the Hate Anti-Bias Community Grants of $5,000 each for schools in the participating 12 counties. For more information on applications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are there words of inspiration to get students thinking?
“I no longer believe that we can change anything in the world
until we have first changed ourselves.” — Etty Hillesum
Etty Hillesum was a young, Jewish-Dutch woman who wrote diaries in Amsterdam during the Second World War. In 1943, she was murdered at Auschwitz, at only 29 years old. Etty believed internal personal change was a necessary first step to bringing about positive change in the world, and that this was the main lesson to be learned from the Holocaust. Etty bears witness to what it means to be human and commits herself to a radical choice: not to hate, even as she opens her heart to the horrors unfolding around her.
In honor of Etty’s message, we ask students to share their stories; to describe a moment of injustice, bias, discrimination, or exclusion: something they witnessed or experienced, or a time when they learned about an unjust situation or event that affected you or others.
Students are asked to answer the following questions: How did this moment impact the people involved? What kind of personal change does this experience inspire in you? How can your personal change lead you to make positive changes in your community and the world? How have you or will you affect others positively?
Deadlines are in February. For complete details, visit Learn.MaltzMuseum.org.