Press release: Bloomington/Monroe County Human Rights Commission Announces 2024 Youth Art/Essay Contest Winners

The following was shared with the Bloomingtonian:


May 8, 2024

For more information, please contact:

Michael Shermis, Human Rights Commission Director, Community and Family Resources Department, [email protected] or 812-349-3478. 

Justin Crossley, Digital Brand Manager, Office of the Mayor

[email protected] or 812-349-3406


 Bloomington, Ind. – The Bloomington/Monroe County Human Rights Commission today announced the six winners of the 2024 Human Rights Art/Essay Contest. Local students in grades K-6 were asked to write an essay or create a piece of art to answer the question, “What is the most important human right to you, and why?”

The contest was judged by Commissioners Amy Jackson and Stephen Coover (art) and Emma Williams and Autumn Crisovan (essays).

In the art category, first place was awarded to Henry Fehrman, a second grader at Templeton Elementary. Second place went to Harper Burroughs, a sixth grader at Marlin Elementary, while third place was given to William Alhasainat, a first grader at Rogers Elementary. Commissioners Jackson and Coover praised the students’ artistic visions, use of vibrant colors, and expressions of equality and diversity.

In the essay category, first place went to Piper Burroughs, a sixth grader at Marlin Elementary. Second place was awarded to Telly Lotven, a sixth grader at University Elementary who submitted a poem. Third place was given to Phoenix Gordon, a sixth grader at Templeton Elementary. Commissioners Williams and Crisovan congratulated the winners on their creativity and use of research skills.

The students, along with their friends and family members, will be invited to an award ceremony on Monday, May 13 with Mayor Kerry Thomson and the Commission. As their prize, they will receive certificates and WonderLab passes. The ceremony will take place in the City Council Chambers at 401 N. Morton St. from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

The Commission offered congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who participated in the contest for sharing their creativity, passion, and commitment to human rights in Bloomington and around the world. 

The mission of the Bloomington/Monroe County Human Rights Commission is to enforce the Bloomington/Monroe County Human Rights Ordinance in a fair and timely manner, to educate community members about their rights and responsibilities under various civil rights laws and to advocate for changes in policies and law.


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