Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez on June 10 hosted a group of talented and caring students to present them awards for winning an art contest, “Illustrate Against Hate.”
Organized in partnership with the New York City Police Foundation and Education Department, Gonzalez said the competition “provided youngsters with a positive way to express themselves against bigotry and call out hate crimes.”
The contest was open to all city school kids from 7th through 12th Grade.
In less than a month, Gonzalez said his office received over 500 submissions from all five boroughs, adding that a committee of judges picked three winners from each grade.
“I strongly believe that education is a critical part of any long-term strategy to prevent hate motivated violence,” the district attorney told the students and their parents. “We have to break down stereotypes, suspicion and misunderstanding between communities, starting with our young people.
“Art is a powerful tool to achieve those goals, because art illuminates our common experiences and emotions; it connects us to our shared humanity,” he added. “Art can shock us out of complacency, and move us in ways that straightforward explanation and argument cannot.”