A powerful challenge which empowers secondary school students to tackle hate within their communities is being launched across the UK this week.
The annual Stronger Than Hate Challenge encourages students aged 13-18 to use their creativity to show how testimony can bring communities closer together. Entries can take the form of a video, poem, song, blog or piece of art and a first prize of £5000 plus iPads is on offer. Full rules and submission details are available here.
The Stronger Than Hate Challenge demonstrates the power of learning from the past and raising one’s voice to counter hate. The Challenge is presented by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education (USC Shoah Foundation) and Discovery Education, the worldwide EdTech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.
Founded after the making of Steven Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List, USC Shoah Foundation collects audio visual testimonies from survivors and witnesses of genocides around the world, preserving their stories for future generations. Pupils taking part in the Stronger Than Hate Challenge can listen to these stories and be inspired to produce a piece of work which reflects the power of testimony to tackle hate.
“Student voices have the power to change the world. The Stronger Than Hate Challenge empowers students to raise their voices through the power of storytelling to not only counter hate, but promote empathy, understanding, and respect as well,” said Lesly Culp, USC Shoah Foundation’s Interim Director of Education. “We are eager to see the submissions this year and thank Discovery Education for their continued partnership. Together, we are building a more just and equitable society through education.”
Previous finalists and winners submitted projects on a range of relevant and impactful topics that addressed hate in their communities. The 2021 UK winner - Elizabeth Stickland from Attleborough Academy in Norfolk – was awarded first prize after writing a powerful poem about how communities can overcome prejudice. Second place was awarded to Guildford student Callum Halkett, who wrote about the devastating impact of drugs.
The Stronger Than Hate Challenge, which can be self-guided or teacher-led, provides students with a platform to address key issues in their communities by creating projects addressing the themes of identity, diversity, inclusion, and more.
Stronger Than Hate is being launched for the third time in the UK along with special classroom resources to help teachers and pupils recognise and counter hate and discrimination. Freely available at TeachingWithTestimony.com/challenge-uk, these expert resources and videos will empower students to employ empathy, build critical-thinking skills and become inspired to create a brighter future after listening to first-hand accounts from survivors and witnesses of genocide.
Discovery Education has also collaborated with USC Shoah Foundation to produce special age-appropriate resources for younger children in the UK. These are available to primary schools through Discovery Education Espresso - an award-winning, cross curricular digital learning service for teachers and pupils supporting the delivery of the National Curriculum and the successful integration of digital media into teaching and learning.
“The Stronger Than Hate Challenge exemplifies the power of connecting students to social and emotional learning as a tool to improve the world,” said Lori McFarling, President of Social Impact at Discovery Education. “Since 2018, we’ve had the honour to collaborate with USC Shoah Foundation on this important initiative. Social and emotional wellness is critical for growth and confidence, and we are committed to empowering students with the resources they need to combat hate and build resilient empathy.”
The Stronger than Hate Challenge closes on May 26th 2022. Learn more about the Challenge and the partnership at TeachingWithTestimony.com/challenge-uk .