Friends School Senior Cinneah El-Amin has been awarded this year’s Princeton Prize in Race Relations. The prize, including a $1,000 cash award and an invitation to the annual Princeton Prize Symposium on Race, is presented annually to U.S. high school students in 24 regional areas.
Princeton Prize winners must promote positive race relations in their schools or communities. In a letter to the Princeton Prize review board, Felicia Wilks, Friends School’s Director of Diversity, praised El-Amin’s role this year as the student body representative to the board of trustee’s diversity committee. “Many students would be intimidated to participate in a board committee where they are the only students in the room. Cinneah, however, listens carefully and contributes perspectives that are otherwise absent in the discussion,” she wrote.
Last fall, Friends chose Cinneah for the second consecutive year to serve as a facilitator at the National Association of Independent Schools Student Diversity Leadership Conference. Other diversity leadership activities at Friends School in which El-Amin has engaged include, during her junior year, a partnership program with a local public school, Freedom Academy, in which students from both schools met for several sessions to discuss race in Baltimore, and the Association of Independent Maryland Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference, in which she served as a student facilitator. For the past two years, Cinneah has co-headed both the Black Awareness Club and the Student Diversity Council. Most recently, she initiated a partnership with the Black Male Identity Project in which she invited students from a variety of backgrounds to engage in conversation and art-making around negative images of black males in the media. She sought out a local artist and set up workshop sessions for any interested Friends Upper School students.
Outside of school, Cinneah volunteers as a peer educator at Planned Parenthood of Maryland. In the fall, she plans to attend either Barnard College or Tufts University.
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