Return to Headlines

Race Matters Committee (RMC) Art Contest Tradition Continues: Student Winners & Honorable Mentions

Art paint boardThe Race Matters Committee (RMC), formed in 2015 to bring issues of race to the forefront in the district, recently announced its 2023 Art Contest Winners and Honorable Mentions.  

The RMC Art Contest, now in its seventh year, is a tradition organized by the RMC, the PTSA Inclusion Working Group, and the Art Department, in which students in all grade levels are given the opportunity to design artwork based on their personal interpretations of a chosen quote or theme.

For this year's assignment, students were asked to ponder a quote from Diane Nash, an American civil rights activist, and a leader and strategist of the student wing of the Civil Rights Movement. Last year, Nash was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation's highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made estimable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to other cultural endeavors.

The following quote from Nash served as the springboard for Art Contest participants:

“Freedom, by definition, is people realizing that they are their own leaders.”

"Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator Dr. Jenice Mateo-Toledo expressed special thanks to the Art Department for their support, especially Chairperson Ezra Elliott, and Hillside art teacher Zerlina Panush, who took the lead in supporting our students as they designed artwork," said Superintendent McKersie in his Community Update earlier. 

Winners were chosen by the RMC and PTSA Inclusion Working Group. Congratulations to all!


  • Winner: Emma Gelman (11th Grade)
  • Honorable Mention: Brandon Pintado (10th Grade)


  • Winner: Noah Smith (6th Grade)
  • Honorable Mention: Prita Berry (7th Grade)


  • Winner: Ira Nivarthi (4th Grade)
  • Honorable Mention: Abby Lumalcuri (4th Grade)

Below are images of the students' art, which will be on full display at the 7th Annual Multicultural Book Fair on Thursday, June 1, and Friday, June 2. They will also be featured in the PTSA Calendar. 

Emma Gelman (11th Grade)

Noah Smith (6th Grade)

Ira Nivarthi (4th Grade)