Since its founding in 2003, TEAM Westport has tackled some of society’s — and Westport’s — most intractable problems.
Now the town’s multicultural committee is asking teenagers to join them — and write about it.
TEAM Westport’s 4th annual essay contest focuses on the hot-button issue of white privilege. In 1,000 words or less, students are asked to describe the term; reflect on the extent to which they think white privilege exists, and address the impact it has had on their life — whatever their own racial or ethnic identity — and in our broader society.
TEAM Westport chair Harold Bailey says, “A primary focus and concern of our organization since its inception has been the impact of the town’s relatively low levels of racial and ethnic diversity on our children. This year’s essay topic provides our young people an opportunity to reflect upon that impact, and make their personal statements about it in very meaningful ways.”
The 1st place winner will receive $1,000. Second prize is $750; 3rd is $500.
All students in grades 9 through 12 who attend Staples High School or another school in Westport, or who live in Westport but attend school elsewhere, are eligible.
That’s a somewhat diverse group. And if past essay contests are any indication, this contest will spur diverse reactions — and plenty of insightful essays.
TEAM Westport’s acronym stands for Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism. In many discussions of multiculturalism, the default identity of whiteness is simply assumed. That can be particularly true in Westport.
Let’s hear what today’s teenagers — tomorrow’s leaders, in an increasingly multicultural society — think.
The winning essays will be published on “06880,”