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Santos Rodriguez Essay & Art Contest

Who was Santos Rodriguez?
Santos Rodriguez was a 12-year-old Mexican American child who was tragically murdered on July 24, 1973, by Dallas Police Officer Darrell Cain while handcuffed inside a police car. The killing led to the first Hispanic led civil rights demonstration in the City of Dallas in 1973. The City of Dallas formally apologized to the family of Santos Rodriguez 40 years later, in 2013. This July will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Santos.

santos artwork.PNG

Purpose of Contest
We are wanting students to learn about this tragedy, and to creatively express themselves by either writing an essay or composing artwork to remember the life and legacy of Santos Rodriguez. Every student in Dallas should be aware of this historical event which had, and still has, a profound impact on the City of Dallas.


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If a student chooses to do an essay, it should be a minimum of 500 words explaining the event, how it impacted the Dallas community, why it is still relevant today, and how the writer connects to the story in their own way. Grammar, sentence structure, originality,coherence, will all be used to evaluate the submission.

If a student chooses to do an art project, the student must incorporate what Santos Rodriguez means to the artist, how it affects Dallas, and how the use of art can convey emotions and feelings to the audience in one paragraph. Use of color, line, use of different mediums, clarity, and context will be used to evaluate the submission. No digital art will be accepted at this time.
There will be three groups, one for elementary school students, one for Middle S
chool Students and one for High School Students.
One winner for each group, Elementary School Students, Middle School Students, and
 High School students will receive a laptop from the office of Council Member JesseMoreno in District 2.

Contestant is required to be a resident of the City of Dallas and must be in grade school.

How to Submit
Submissions can be mailed in to 1500 Marilla St. 5FN, Dallas TX 75201. Attention to Jesse Moreno’s Office. Or they can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. Please include with your submission, your name, address, phone number, email address,and school grade.

For More Information
For more information, please contact our office at 214-670-4171 or email

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