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Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission Announces Student Recipients of Annual Malcolm McDowell Award

Information from:

Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission



June 9, 2021 (Barnstable MA) –The BCHRAC is pleased to announce the 2021 recipients of the Malcolm McDowell Award, who are Morgan James Peters II (also known as Zyg), a senior at Mashpee Middle High School, and Angelica Oshman (also known as Alex), a junior at Sturgis Charter Public School East.

This award is named in honor of the late Malcolm McDowell, noted human rights activist and former member of the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission. Successful candidates must demonstrate initiative, leadership, and dedication to improving the human rights atmosphere of Barnstable County and the wider world. This award is open to applicant students who have attended the Human Rights Academy (HRA), either through participation with their school’s HRA Club or directly, including students who are homeschooled.

Zyg’s interest in human rights was sparked when he was exposed to racist rhetoric and discrimination as a child. His early expression focused on the sovereignty of his tribe, the Wampanoag Tribe, and police violence against black and brown people. An accomplished musician, Zyg formed a project called the K-3-0 Collective, a youth hip-hop organization of black and brown artists supporting the development and presentation of their music, art, film, video, dance, and theater projects. Zyg plans on attending Goddard College in the fall.

“His dedication as a musician has not only enriched the lives of a very diverse group of citizens and students but also has served awareness on key social justice issues facing our society,” offered Celeste Reynolds, an AP educator at Zyg’s school. “Morgan just wants to see the world as a better place!”

For Alex, human rights issues are second nature. As a second-grader, Alex raised funds for the crisis in Haiti. In 6th grade, she campaigned to ban plastic bags nationally. She is a member of the Sturgis East Human Rights Club and is the student representative to the Town of Falmouth’s Affirmative Action/Diversity Committee. Last fall, Alex gave an impressive presentation on the history of women’s voting rights at the BCHRAC sponsored Human Rights Academy. Alex says, “Human rights is something embedded in my way of life. Everywhere I go, anything I do, I look for the most inclusive outcome of my interactions”.

Alex’s advisor, Eric Porteus, agrees with the assessment when he opined that” Alex is a student who exemplifies the McDowell Award. Alex’s commitment to universal human rights is evident in everything Alex does. From a commitment to an in-depth understanding of the challenges facing people from all different creeds to understanding the complexities and challenges of navigating the modern world, Alex could not be more deserving of this award”.

In announcing the winners of the award, Susan Quinones, BCHRAC Coordinator, said, “We are so proud of Morgan Peters II and Angelica Oshman for their dedication to the ideals embodied in the Human Rights framework. As representatives of Barnstable County and their generation, they give us hope for a world where human dignity and equality can flourish.”

ABOUT THE BARNSTABLE COUNTY HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISORY COMMISSION: The mission of the Human Rights Advisory Commission is to promote equal opportunity for all persons of Barnstable County regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, gender, age, ancestry, sexual or affectional preference marital, family or military status, source of income, neighborhood or disability, where unlawful discrimination exists in housing, employment, education, public accommodations, town or county services, insurance, banking, credit, and health care. Learn more at