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Barbara E. McKinney
Director of the Bloomington Human Rights Commission 


Winners Announced in the Bloomington Human Rights Commission Essay/Art Contest

In observance of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, the Bloomington Human Rights Commission’s annual essay and art contest invited local students to write essays and create artwork in response to the question, “What Do You Think About Fair Housing?”

Winners in the 27th annual Human Rights Commission contest were honored at an awards ceremony on Thursday, April 5 at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Showers City Hall. Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton presented the prizes.  

“It is exciting to see our youngest citizens engaging with the values that form the basis of our democratic system,” said Mayor John Hamilton.  “As we mark this 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, it’s good to see our teachers encouraging their students to learn about the history of civil rights in our country and express themselves on the topic.” The Fair Housing Act is also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

The prize-winning artwork is currently being exhibited in a display case on the lower level of the Showers City Hall building (401 N. Morton). The contest was judged by Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Ryne Shadday, Irena Micajkova Otten and Rhonda Gambill.

In the K-3 division of the essay contest, Harmony School third-graders Cy Dillon and River Kemp took first and second place respectively.  In the 4-6 level, Aidan Daniel Beczkiewicz-Kerr, a fifth grader at Harmony, took first place for his essay; Templeton Elementary students Ridley Crouch, a sixth grader, and Olivia Easton, a fifth grader, tied for second; and placing third were Kyle Davis, a sixth-grader at University Elementary, Theo Dove, a fifth grader at Harmony, and Zachary Enstrom, a sixth grader at Harmony.

In the art contest, in the K-3 level, Templeton second graders Eli Bryant and Ezra Milius-Posto took first place; Phoebe Mendota, a first grader at Templeton, came in second; and Zara Hall and Adeline Pugh, Templeton second graders, tied for third place.

First place winners in the 4-6 level of the art contest were Elizabeth Livingston, Lydia Scales, Nola Somers Glenn and Xiaoyan Wang, all sixth graders at Templeton. Sixth graders Avery Beck, Nora LoPilato, Ruby Williams and Betsy Bennett of Templeton tied for second place. Taking third place were Lilly Laudeman, a Harmony School sixth grader, and Nevaeh Hicks, Tatum Jones, Livi Easton and Olivia Robb, all fifth graders at Templeton.

The City of Bloomington Human Rights Commission congratulates the winners and thanks all the students who submitted essays and artwork, along with their teachers. More information about the work of the Bloomington Human Rights Commission is available at the following link: