The NYCLU is excited to announce the winners of the 2017 Freedom of Expression contest. Each year, both high school and college-aged students submit entries pertaining to a particular social justice topic. This year’s theme is “The Art of Protest.” Artistic expression can, in itself, be a form of protest and here in New York City we have seen firsthand the importance of art in local demonstrations. We invited students to respond to the theme by submitting a photograph, a protest sign, banner or any original artwork they created as part of a protest. Below is a list of the winners:

1st Place: Black Lives Matter by Katrina Soniprasad, Age: 15, Townsend Harris High School
2nd Place: The Gay Agenda by LeighAnn (Cole) Norberg, Age: 17, and Sophia DeMartino, Age: 16, Susan E. Wagner High School
3rd Place: The Boy in Pink by Anoula Cilento, Age: 17, High School of Construction Trades, Engineering, and Architecture
4th Place/Honorable Mention: We Fight to Survive by Maria Montero, Age: 19, Lehman College


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We want to hear from you! DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday, June 2nd.

To SUBMIT ONLINE, email your entry to Click the button below to download the entry form and instructions as a PDF.
To SUBMIT VIA MAIL, mail in your entry to: NYCLU Contest 125 Broad St., 19th Floor New York, NY 10004

Complete rules:

  • You must be 13 to 21 years old to enter the contest.
  • You must reside in New York City.
  • Entries must be original and cannot be returned.
  • Group entries accepted.
  • Current and former NYCLU/ACLU staff, clients and board members, and their relatives, are not eligible.
  • Only visual entries will be accepted. You can submit a photograph, a protest sign, banner, or any original artwork you created as part of a protest.