Princeton Prize in Race Relations Winners
Laylan Hamid, a senior at Shawnee Mission West, is described as a pillar in the push to value diversity, equity and inclusion in the Shawnee Mission School District's curriculum. She works diligently to create a space for all other students to value deep and honest conversations about other cultures and social justice issues at her school and abroad.
Hamid is a Muslim and by widely describing how outdated and inaccurate depictions affect her and students of marginalized groups personally, she hopes her work educating educators will be a catalyst for lasting change to accurately elevate and educate all students. She has worked with the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation, Site Council, and Strategic Planning Committees. She is a multi-cultural leader in the Shawnee Mission West Viking community.
Samantha Morinville and Ore Oluwa Oni
Morinville and Oni are both juniors and members of the Executive Committee of Shawnee Mission North's CORE (Coalition of Racial Equality) which has had an active presence on the Shawnee Mission North campus for the last few years. The organization's key activities appear to be the well planned and executed Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month activities which are attended by not only students and faculty, but community members. This year, however, these two students created a College Advising Program (CAP) to extend CORE's reach to middle school students in an effort to expose them to skills that would allow them access to more rigorous classes in high school and help them to be more successful in many facets of life.
They maintain regular contact with students to track progress with the curriculum they created and even provided holiday goody bags to encourage students through the winter break. Although the program was initiated with students of color in mind, Morinville and Oni have included other students in need of information and a push to access the best high school programs and possibly apply to more selective colleges. Their college prep activities stem from wanting to ensure students of color are seen as academically viable and visible among their peers and the wider school community. In general, both students are committed to finding best ways to protect, enhance and promote the rights of all students throughout the school, and expand this vision throughout the district.
This is the second time Morinville has been recognized for her activities to create a safe space for students to feel welcome despite differences and to work to equal the playing field for future opportunities.