GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Green Bay is planning something special for Black History Month.

The club is participating in US Cellular’s second annual Black History Month art contest. The children were encouraged to create original pieces of artwork recognizing iconic African American figures. The kids were given the freedom to deviate from the norm when deciding who or what to draw. There are 17 entries total.

A few of the entries reflect the times we are living in, highlighting activism, social justice, and COVID-19. The drawings include protest signs and images of a brown hand with the words “Black Lives Matter” written above it. 11-year-old Sam Sustman, who wants to be an artist, decided to draw George Floyd for his submission. Sustman, inspired by his family to draw Floyd, says he enjoyed seeing people protesting during the summer.

“It made me feel good, because everybody was marching for equality and to have more peace in the world,” says Sustman.

8-year-old Aleta Dikhtyar submitted two drawings for the contest, civil rights icons Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. You’ll notice Parks looks a little different. She is wearing a mask.

“If she was still alive today, she’d definitely be having to wear a mask,” says Dikhtyar.

“It’s a great opportunity for them to learn, and to pick pieces that really mean something to them and then share their interpretation of it in a creative way. We’re just really working with the youth in the community to really help expand in their creativity, get them a part of the community and allow people to see what our youth are capable of and really what’s important to them, says Charissa St. Thomas, store manager at UScellular’s Green Bay West location.

The art contest is providing an outlet for students to express themselves on serious issues the country is grappling with today.

“Everyone should be respected no matter who they love or what’s the color of their skin,” says 12-year-old Asiyah Haynes.

“It’s a very huge problem that people are dying because of their race,” says 9-year-old Jackson Allen.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

For more information about the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, click here.

Voting for the top 10 submissions starts February 1st. For more information about UScellular’s Black History Month Art contest, click here.