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Alice Doern

Student Art Contest: Junior Division, Honorable Mention


I believe that democracy means having a voice and a say in the decisions that affect our lives. You can’t change how the government makes laws through force but through a strong voice and passion for what you think is right. Through my art, I wanted to express how important freedom of speech is to fight for what I believe in and to defend democracy for everyone. There can be many challenges to democracy, especially if leaders try to deny

citizens the five freedoms of speech, assembly, petition, religion, and press. Sometimes a popular majority can be an obstacle to an equal and fair community. The experience of Japanese Americans during World War II shows how even democracies make mistakes like this and how important it is to speak up when something is not right. I wanted my art to remind us how grateful we are for having a system that works to prevent tyranny. Also, how

lucky we are to be able to peacefully protest for what we believe is right. By illustrating a protest, I can show that view of democracy. When drawing this piece, I realized what Minoru Yasui was truly fighting for. I’m extremely grateful that he was willing to stand up for what was right, even if it was not popular at the time and even if it meant he would be punished for it. In the end he is remembered as the one who challenged what he thought was wrong and used his voice to express it.

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