Poster contest raises awareness for social justice


Justin Som

The Social Justice Poster Contest asked for students to create a design that would advocate for equality for all.

Justin Som, Staff Writer

Across San Mateo County libraries, students in 5th to 12th grade competed in the Teen Social Justice Poster Contest to show their support for equality for all different types of people. With #openforall as their slogan, these youths pushed themselves to create the most creative and eye-catching poster that would best support the cause of social justice.

The local Belmont library was one of the 12 county libraries that participated in this contest. Starting in January, the poster contest gave contestants until Feb. 24 to submit their artwork.

Any designs were required to have a positive visual and verbal message that supported the cause of #openforall. The contest also allowed for contestants to choose whether to design their pieces via hand or by a computer.

“The reason that we wanted to do the poster contest was to make a way for all of the businesses, libraries, and schools to remind everyone that they are open for everyone by displaying the winning poster,” said Teen Service Librarian Kayla Marie Figard, who supervised the event at the Belmont Library. “I think the cause of social justice is a really relevant issue that everyone in Belmont and San Mateo County can rally behind.”

As detailed by the contest regulations, the winner of the poster contest will be gifted with a DIY printing kit along with county-wide recognition for their poster design. The best poster will also be displayed throughout San Mateo County in multiple libraries, businesses, schools, and any other participating locations.

“I think it’s still important to advocate for social justice because people still focus on the differences between humans, and that separates individuals,” said freshman Arianna Pogue. “The poster contest is a good start for this cause since it’ll spread the posters around the community.”

The main purpose of the contest was to arouse widespread community support for social justice via youths. By having students design the posters, the San Mateo County Libraries hoped that students would educate themselves on the topics of injustices within society and inclusion. Likewise, to make it easier for non-students to show their support, the San Mateo County Libraries wanted a poster that would allow for local businesses and other establishments to show that they too advocate for #openforall.

“I think that everybody has the right to an equal opportunity to be treated equally by others. Supporting social justice is one way that this message comes across,” said Jason Liu, a senior. “I do think that the posters will raise awareness for social justice, but unfortunately not to the effect that the community hopes.”