Bloomington Human Rights Commission Announces 29th Annual Essay/Art Contest Winners

(BLOOMINGTON) – The Bloomington Human Rights Commission announced the winners of their essay/art contest for local students, who were recognized during the commission’s April 27 meeting. 

For the contest’s 29th year, students wrote essays and created artworks to reflect on the question “Were we born free and equal?”  Commission members Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Pamela Jackson, and Jacob Simpson served as judges of this year’s contest.  

Artwork by Eloise Gjerdingen, 4th Grade, Templeton Elementary

In the essay contest, the following students were recognized at the younger level: 

  • Halloway Page Wild Galvan, Harmony School (1st place)
  • Aurora Dollens, Harmony School (2nd place)
  • Johanna Marie Saverese (3rd place)

Essay contest winners in the older category include:

  • Xixi Qui University Elementary (1st place)
  • Annika Smith University Elementary (2nd place)
  • Peter Bossev University Elementary (3rd place)

Within the younger division of the art contest:

  • Alona Colean Templeton Elementary (1st place)
  • Phoebe Mendota Templeton Elementary (2nd place)
  • Sophia Vanden Dries Templeton Elementary (3rd place)

Winners in the older division of the art contest:

  • Clara Tweedie, Childs Elementary (1st place)
  • Eloise Gjerdingen Templeton Elementary (2nd place)
  • Elijah Smith, Alexis Wiesenberg, Rhianna Russell, LaShell Murphy, Kendra Oliver-Reed as a group (3rd place)

“I was honored to review such a wonderful set of entries,” said contest judge and BHRC member Jackson. “I was quite impressed with the effort taken by so many students to express their personal interpretation of our theme. The entries were very diverse, with some students preparing drawings while others created 3-D images. Some students wrote words while others only used pictures. Altogether, they were magnificent.”

Artwork by Sophia Vanden Dries, 4th grade, Templeton Elementary

The commission congratulates this year’s winners and thanks all of the students who participated in the contest.  

The Bloomington Human Rights Commission works to enforce Bloomington’s Human Rights Ordinance in a fair and timely manner, to educate community members about their rights and responsibilities under various civil rights laws, to raise awareness on all human rights issues, to ensure that contractors and subcontractors on city jobs pay employees applicable common wages, to ensure that the City, as an employer, governmental entity and provider of public accommodations, complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and to provide the community with information about the ADA.