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Visual Category Winners (2021)

1st place: “A Side of Light”*
Michelle Wu
Instagram: _.mimishy.​_
Fox School of Business, Human Resource

Description: I was inspired to create this piece to focus not only on the adversity but to show resiliency in the Asian community during the pandemic. Growing up, I noticed how racism was normalized towards Asians and it made me self-conscious about my identity as an Asian American. I wanted this piece to showcase the beauty and what it means to be a part of the Asian community but more importantly for people to be proud of who they are. Especially in a time like this, I felt it was crucial to highlight how communities have to stand together and advocate for the social justice happening on all different spectrums.


2nd place: “I Matter”*
Dominique Malave
Instagram: @nikkiiimalave
Klein College of Media and Communications, Advertising
Description: Since I was unable to attend the 2020 protests due to Covid-19, I created the “I Matter” graphic artwork to show my support for the BLM movement. I drew inspiration from a picture of a young African American boy at a protest in Ferguson, Missouri that was taken by a photographer named Sarah-Ji in 2014. The young boy’s expression struck me, and I wanted to capture the look of hope in his eyes as well as the fear behind them within my illustration so I could send a message of compassion for the black community.


3rd place: “Cosmos of Courage”*
Lyra Capunitan
College of Public Health, Nursing
Description: Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in animosity towards Asians; this could be attributed to the virus’ place of origin. In turn, many Asians have become the target for hate crimes, both verbal and physical harassment, because people blame them as the cause of the outbreak. As an Asian myself, it felt necessary to convey the mistreatment of other fellow Asians during these times. I specifically chose to put “virus” on her face mask to represent how hate crimes carelessly label Asians as a “virus” and forget that those are real people being attacked. The field of flowers are cosmos, flowers that symbolize peace and harmony. Though Asians are suffering in pain, those with courage must speak out against this hate to find peace for those being discriminated against.

*Do not use, reproduce, alter, etc.  without creator’s permission