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Students in five cities win Princeton Prize in Race Relations

By Eric Quiñones

Princeton NJ -- Eight high school students in five cities — Atlanta, Boston, Houston, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. — have been awarded the 2005 Princeton Prize in Race Relations for their exceptional efforts to improve race relations in their schools and local communities.

Photo of: prize and certificate winners

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (fourth from left) delivered the keynote address at the Washington, D.C., Princeton Prize awards ceremony. Pictured, from left, are: certificate winners Anna Liebowitz, Ziad Foty and Nicholas Pastan; Obama; U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, a member of Princeton’s class of 1954 and a University trustee, who hosted a reception for the winners; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, a member of Princeton’s class of 1983 who presented the awards; first prize winners Evan Wright and Sarah Khasawinah; and certificate winners Muhammad Abdul-Ali, Brittany Brewer and Gary Brown.

The winners are: Claudia Caycho, a senior at Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga.; Britni Stinson, a senior at Riverwood High School in Atlanta; Tatiana Maria Fernández, a senior at Brookline High School in Brookline, Mass.; Mark Fitzgerald, a senior at Needham High School in Needham, Mass.; Brittany Royal, a senior at Stratford High School in Houston; Paul Nauert, a junior at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis; Sarah Khasawinah, a senior at JEB Stuart High School in Falls Church, Va.; and Evan Wright, a junior at Sidwell Friends School in Washington.

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations is an awards program that recognizes high school students for outstanding work in their schools or communities to advance the cause of race relations. The program was created by Princeton alumni and launched in 2003 in the Washington, D.C., and Boston metropolitan areas. This year, it was offered in Houston, Atlanta and St. Louis, and next year will begin in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Ultimately, the goal is to expand the program nationwide.

Winners were chosen by Princeton alumni committees in each city. Individual prize winners received $1,000, while co-winners received $500 each. Prominent figures in politics and civil rights have participated in this year’s award ceremonies as presenters and speakers, including: U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama in Washington; U.S. Rep. John Lewis in Georgia; and Mayor Bill White in Houston.

“The work being done by these young people to enhance race relations in their schools and communities is incredibly impressive and inspirational,” said Margaret Miller, director of the Alumni Council. “It is gratifying for Princeton’s alumni committee members to be able to give these students well-deserved recognition for their creativity, persistence and spirit.”