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Leaders of Ithaca’s “Students United” Recognized as Distinguished Youth

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Leaders of Ithaca’s “Students United” Recognized as Distinguished Youth

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Tompkins County Legislature honored as Tompkins County Distinguished youth the leaders of Ithaca’s “Students United,” who contested practices of the Ithaca City School District’s performing arts program. Recognized as Distinguished Youth were Eamon Nunn-Makepeace, Annabelle Mead-VanCort, Ari Cummings, Prachi Ruina, and Maddi Carroll.

Introducing the award, Legislator Henry Granison quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ Students United Ithaca is a group of student activists…who saw injustice in our school system,” Mr. Granison said. “ Instead of running from those injustices, they had the courage to face them head on and demanded to be heard …By pointing out these issues, these students have faced negative reactions from their school and local communities. Moreover, when Fox News, Brietbart New and the Daily Stormer picked up this story, many trolls came out to harass, threaten and intimidate these students and their families. When confronted with such darkness and hatred these students and their families did not run and hide nor did they lash back at the trolls. They doubled down by asking for the community to support their efforts even more! They sought light and love to combat the darkness and the hatred. For their courage to start and continue their efforts in the face of such hatred, this is why we are honoring the students tonight with the Distinguished Youth Award.”

The Distinguished Youth Award is cosponsored by Bangs Ambulance Service, Specialty Trophy and Awards, Purity Ice Cream, and Cayuga Radio Group.