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East Meadow teen wins ERASE Racism design contest

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Sean Stergis, a seventh-grade student at Woodland Middle School in East Meadow, recently won ERASE Racism’s t-shirt design competition.

Contestants in sixth, seventh and eighth-grade were asked to submit a design to advance the effort to erase racism. Sean won with a visual titled “Make Love Not Hate,” which is now available on the Erase Racism website.

ERASE Racism announced Sean’s win with that of four other Long Island students winning its annual essay and t-shirt design contests. The essay contest is for public high school seniors and the t-shirt design competition is for middle school students.

Sean was awarded $250 and had his design presented at a virtual celebration on Wednesday, July 8 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To enter the high school essay contest, which is sponsored by SCOPE Education Services, students were asked to write 400-500 words on the following topic: “Based on your own experiences and/or advocacy efforts, what can you do to build a racially just, more equitable Long Island for your generation and future generations?”

The winners include Victoria Lu, who just graduated South Side High School in Rockville Centre, Nadia Othman, who just graduated Island Trees High School in Levittown, Jeffrey Reyes-Espinal, who just graduated Amityville Memorial High School in Amityville and Faith Shaw, who just graduated Westbury High School in Westbury.

“At a time of racial unrest nationally, these Long Island students are lighting a path of commitment, reflection, understanding, and optimism,” said ERASE Racism President Elaine Gross. “They represent a new generation of leaders, on whom our nation’s promise and future depend.”

ERASE Racism is a regional civil rights organization based on Long Island that exposes and addresses the devastating impact of historical and ongoing structural racism, particularly in public school education and housing. It does so through research, policy advocacy, legal action, and educating and mobilizing the public – driving policy change at local, regional and statewide levels and through national coalitions. It has been recognized locally and nationally for its cutting-edge work.

—Brian Stieglitz