Ladue Middle School eighth-grade students Eileen Suarez and Abby Soldwish-Zoole were the first and second place winners of the Break the School-to-Prison Pipeline Event & Youth Art Contest, and the two were recognized at the 2018 Educating for Change Conference put on by the St Louis Educators for Social Justice on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. Eileen gave a speech about her art piece that brought a standing ovation from the audience of more than 300 people!
Check out Eileen’s speech in the video below:
The two girls’ artwork and descriptions are included below:
“There are 6 different people, their faces are split in half. One side is how they really are, the other is their race’s stereotype. My artwork reflects these themes—social justice, healing, and hope—by showing that people are not just their race/gender/sexuality that people expect them to be. They are individuals with likes, hobbies, and dislikes, and they are being shown more and more, that is why the color in the actual person’s background has color, which makes it stand out more. Also, the colors are bright, which shows a bright future.” — Eileen
“In my artwork, women are looking out with an expression of hope for change. They are three difference races, but more than just three different colors or hair or eyes. This reflects social justice because it shows our differences as part of what we are. The three faces all come from the same whole strong body. The faces embrace differences, but all share the same expression of hope.” — Abby
In addition, Tiffany Taylor-Johnson presented a table on the “I am Ladue” program at LMS, teaching staff Jennifer Riesenmy and Angela Kelly presented a table, “Thinking Critically About Social Equity Metaphors.”