West Oakland Students Win John George “Black Lives Matter” Contest


The John George Democratic Club recently recognized two West Oakland students – fifth grader Alexis McCain and sixth grader Yahya Munsar – for their winning contributions to the club’s annual art and essay contest.



The contest is held each year in memory of the late Alameda County Supervisor John George, the county’s first African American member of the Board of Supervisors and a widely respected and loved fighter for health care, education, the rights of labor and poor people, a better environment, peace and social justice.


This year’s topic focused on the national “Black Lives Matter” movement and its impact in Oakland. The two winning students were awarded $300 and a certificate on Saturday, May 23 at the West Oakland Public Library.


Sixth grader Yahya Munsar
Sixth grader Yahya Munsar

In the contest, students were asked to respond in an essay on the Black Lives Matter Movement: “What do you think this means for Oakland and what can we do to make sure all lives matter in Oakland?


Elementary school students submitted drawings illustrating what Oakland would look like if everyone mattered.


In his 500-word winning essay, Yahya Munsar, a sixth grader at West Oakland Middle School, wrote, “In my opinion, ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a phrase that many people use to express their perspective on how people should be treated. Not only is it a slogan, but it has a deeper meaning to it for all of us, including Oakland.”


McCain, a fifth grader at P.L.A.C.E. at Prescott, won the art contest with her drawing illustrating peace slogans such as, “Stop ‘da Killin’ Start ‘da Healin’,” “Feel the Power,” and “Let go of the gun & Have some fun.”


Read Munsar’s complete essay here.


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