For 7 years, TEAM Westport’s Teen Diversity Essay Contest has considered specific, newsworthy topics.
Westport students have been asked to examine — and write on — issues like micro-aggressions, the “taking a knee” controversy, white privilege, the increasingly diverse demographics of the United States, and self-segregation in school cafeterias.
This year’s contest addresses a broad, complex and crucial issue: Black Lives Matter.
All students attending high school in Westport — or who live here and go to high school elsewhere — are invited to participate. The prompt is:
The statement “Black Lives Matter” has become politicized in our country. In 1000 words or fewer, describe your own understanding of the statement. Consider why conversations about race are often so emotionally charged. Given that reality, what suggestions do you have for building both equity and equality in our schools, community and country?
“Since the murder of George Floyd, the nation has moved toward an inflection point on racial reckoning not seen since the Civil War,” says TEAM Westport chair Harold Bailey.
“The ultimate resolution of that reckoning will have a profound effect upon the lives of our young citizens. Through it all, ‘Black Lives Matter’ has emerged as ubiquitous in message, aspiration and vision. TEAM Westport looks forward to the exploration of the impact of this phenomenon on our nation and community by Westport students.”
The entry deadline is February 26. The Westport Library is co-sponsoring the contest with TEAMWestport, the town’s multicultural commission.
First prize is $1,000; second prize is $750, and third prize is $500. Click here for he application form.