Justice for all

Junior Saloni Mistry was recognized for her entry, titled “No Justice No Peace.” Mistry said she was inspired by events over the summer.

LISD’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. contest was held virtually on Jan. 18. The event was pre-recorded and featured speeches from author and lecturer Tracy Brown, as well as performances by LISD students. The theme for the contest and event was “A Beloved Community: Justice For All.”

Senior Tamyra Kelly helped announce the contest winners for the event.

“I did participate in the competition a lot before, and being able to be behind the scenes was really cool,” Kelly said.

Junior Saloni Mistry took home the Chairman’s Grand Prize for her painting, “No Justice, No Peace.” She said that the purpose of her piece was to spread awareness.

“I just wanted to show that there are still injustices happening, and with the recent Black Lives Matter protests, people are still fighting for this stuff,” Mistry said.

This year’s MLK event was the first one after the death of George Floyd on May 25. The incident played a role in influencing students’ submissions, including Mistry’s painting, which she said was inspired by the protests after Floyd’s death.

“I was pretty mad that that happened,” Mistry said. “I was shocked. I told my parents about it, and they had their opinions. It shouldn’t have happened.”

AP Art teacher Melissa Bellevue helps her students shape their pieces for the contest. She said that this contest’s entries focused more on reflecting the flaws of the last year than in the past.

Junior Saloni Mistry’s painting, pictured above, won the Chairman Grand Prize in the MLK contest. (Photo submitted by Saloni Mistry)

“I think this year the subject of everything not being perfect was more allowable,” Bellevue said. “Usually it’s trying to show everything that’s great and everyone’s happy.”The district also asked Kelly and some other students to give reflections over the year, which were played at the beginning of the ceremony. The students were asked questions such as, “What did you learn from 2020?”

“We have a long way to go in the mission of achieving equality, but I’ve also learned that there is immeasurable strength in the communities we build with each other,” Kelly wrote in her response. “And that if we come together, we’re extremely powerful.”