SM East student Lauren Winston wins Princeton Prize for Race Relations

SM East junior Lauren Winston gets a hug from principal John McKinney after being announced as this year’s Kansas City region winner of the Princeton Prize for Race Relations. Photo credit Diana Percy.

Next weekend, Shawnee Mission East junior Lauren Winston will be headed to Princeton University to meet with a highly select group of 26 other high schoolers from across the country who have been recognized for their initiative in helping foster positive relationships between people of different races.

As the Kansas City region’s 2018 winner of the annual Princeton Prize in Race Relations, Winston has the opportunity to participate in the Princeton Symposium on Race, to be held in New Jersey April 27 and 28.

At a ceremony Wednesday night at the Plaza offices of Polsinelli, Winston was honored as the Kansas City region winner.

Winston is the founder of the group Bridges KC, a non-profit organization that offers opportunities for area students to learn about people from different backgrounds in hopes of improving race relations. She’s helped organized a series of bus tours sponsored by the county library that help explain the history of racial segregation and housing policy in the Kansas City area. And she’s the student representative on the SM East PTSA’s diversity and inclusion committee.

Last year, SM East senior Mia Rios was a runner up in the Kansas City region for the prizes.

Winston, center, was surrounded by her grandmother and parents during the awards ceremony at Polsinelli’s Plaza office Wednesday. Photo credit Diana Percy.