Igniting Change

Students create artwork for the international “Art for Social Justice” in the pursuit of equity and justice


At School of the Nations, we encourage students to be active agents of change. Earlier this school year, our Middle and High School students with their Arts and Moral Education teachers took part in the international “Art for Social Justice Contest,” promoted by the Social Justice Club Initiative.


With over two-hundred submissions, the organization chose five winning artworks. School of the Nations’ student, Manoela Moura (Grade 12), took third place for her artwork entitled “Social Justice Needs Change”!


“For my piece of art for social justice, I chose to portray a protest inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, which started in the United States in 2020 after the death of George Floyd. However, I decided to show in my work not only people who protest against racism but also other injustices we face daily. Social justice is the idea that everyone deserves equal economic and political rights and opportunities. The populations I portrayed in my artwork are often deprived of these. In my drawing, each protest sign represents a group that faces social injustices because of sexism, racism, homophobia, religious discrimination, or social class inequality. My work shows people struggling to end this reality, to claim their rights, and have access to the same opportunities as more privileged groups,” explains Manoela Moura.


Themes such as gender and racial equity inspired students, who portrayed relevant movements in 2020, such as Black Lives Matter and protests to help protect the environment. Their artwork was evaluated based on its originality, artistic skill, and the portrayal of social justice or injustice. For originality, artists were evaluated on the creativity in their images to express ideas and in their use of materials. For artistic skill, students were assessed on their artistry, whether the image was easy to read, and how well the drawing skills they employed depicted the image. The portrayal of Social Justice and Injustice was evaluated based on how well the artwork represented a social justice theme and how well it evoked emotion.


Nine other Nations students also earned honorable mentions for their artwork.

  • Arthur Fernandes, Grade 7, for “Together We’re Stronger”

  • Maria Clara Brum, Grade 7, for “Social Justice”

  • Helena Mello, Grade 9, for “Black Lives Matter”

  • Isabela Lima, Grade 9, for “Dough-ble Standards”

  • Liam Medeiros, Grade 9, for “Racism Through Vision”

  • Luís Nunes, Grade 11, for “Dangers of Not Wearing a Mask”

  • Leonardo Grasso, Grade 12, for his untitled artwork

  • Luiza Mello, Grade 12, for “Black Lives Matter”

  • Nicolle Modesto, Grade 12, for “No Freedom till We’re Equal”

Congratulations to all students and teachers who participated!


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