Fifth-grader Mekinsa Frith and Mayor David Maher show off the poster that won her first prize at the Annual Fair Housing Award Ceremony and Reception held April 16 at City Hall.

Fifth-grader Mekinsa Frith and Mayor David Maher show off the poster that won her first prize at the Annual Fair Housing Award Ceremony and Reception held April 16 at City Hall.

From City Hall, April 29: The Cambridge Human Rights Commission celebrated National Fair Housing Month by sponsoring its 21st Annual Fair Housing Award Ceremony and Reception on April 16 at City Hall. Attendees included Cambridge School student winners in grades 5-8, teachers, parents, bank sponsors and city officials including City Manager Richard C. Rossi and Mayor David Maher.

Students in from the Amigos, Cambridge Street Upper, Graham & Parks, Putnam Upper and Tobin Schools participated in the poster and essay contest. This year’s theme was “Fair Housing Opens Doors and Welcomes Everyone” and the first-prize winner of the poster contest was Mekinsa Frith, an eighth-grader from Cambridge Street Upper School. Anahid Johnson, a fifth-grader from the Amigos School, won second prize.

NewsCenter 5 anchor and reporter Erika Tarantal served as master of ceremonies, and Barbara Chandler, senior adviser on civil rights and fair housing for the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership, was keynote speaker.

Recipients of the Innovations in Fair Housing Award were Toni LaRosa and Judy Johnson of Caritas/Central House, in recognition of their many years of commitment to fair housing in Cambridge.

The Cambridge Banks Housing Association (made up of East Cambridge Savings Bank, Cambridge Savings Bank and Cambridge Trust) donated the specially designed T-shirts (designed by Carmen S. Negrón) to participants and gift certificates for the top winners.

Honorable mention winners got gift certificates donated by local businesses such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Federal Credit Union, Harvard Coop, Boston Duck Tours, Izzy’s Restaurant, Newbury Comics, Lanes and Games, Cinderella’s, Life Alive Urban Oasis & Organic Café, LEO Organization (Dunkin’ Donuts), P.F. Chang’s, Moksa Restaurant, S&S Restaurant and J.P. Licks.