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State Honoree

Andrea Hurwitz

Massachusetts

Andrea Hurwitz, 17, of Peabody Veterans Memorial High School in Peabody, Massachusetts, launched a Blue-Ribbon Campaign to raise awareness of and encourage support against hate graffiti that surfaced at her school. Deeply angered by the ignorance it represented, and determined to unite her peers against such hate, Andrea borrowed an idea from the red ribbons popularized by the AIDS movement and distributed blue ribbons symbolizing zero tolerance toward hate crimes. She spoke at a class assembly, read a poem she wrote over the school loudspeaker, and recruited 50 fellow students to help her make and distribute the ribbons. "When I saw most of the student body, faculty and officials wearing the ribbons, I was overjoyed and proud," said Andrea. When Andrea's efforts reached the community, she began to accept speaking engagements at area schools and conferences on the prevention of hate crimes. "I have learned the beauty and importance of diversity," Andrea said. ''We must respect each other's differences because with9ut diversity, life would be so boring."