Juneteenth is a celebration that commemorates the day when enslaved African Americans in Texas were finally freed on June 19, 1865. This was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

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In 2021, President Joe Biden, “proclaimed June 19, 2021, as Juneteenth Day of Observance,” said the White House. In addition, he called “upon the people of the United States to acknowledge and celebrate the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of Black Americans, and commit together to eradicate systemic racism that still undermines our founding ideals and collective prosperity.”

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated ® Eta Xi Omega Chapter in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in collaboration with The Cultured Pearls Foundation is proud to present “The Voices of Freedom Juneteenth Essay Contest.” This exciting essay contest for middle and high school students is also in partnership with the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the NAACP and Townsquare Media.

Photo Courtney of Eta Xi Omega Chapter
Photo Courtney of Eta Xi Omega Chapter
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There Will Be 2 Essay Contest Winners Awarded $500 Each

“The Voices of Freedom Juneteenth Essay Contest” runs now through May 31 and submissions are accepted by the below online portal. In addition, there will be one middle school and one high school essay contest winner that will each be awarded $500.

Empowering middle and high school students to embrace history and use their voices to promote positive change, this essay contest serves as a meaningful way to celebrate Juneteenth.

The essay requirements are 250 words for middle school students and 500 words for high school students.  Also, students must pick one topic to write about from the three prompts.

The Juneteenth Voices of Freedom Essay Prompts

Explain the historical significance of Juneteenth.

How has Juneteenth personally impacted your life?

What can be learned from Juneteenth to help us shape a better America today?

 

Essay Submission Rules:

  • Essays can focus on the history, significance, celebration of, or personal experience with Juneteenth that relate to one of the three essay prompts, 1) The historical significance of Juneteenth 2) How has Juneteenth personally impacted your life? Or 3) What can be learned from Juneteenth to help us shape a better America today?
  • Essays must be no more than 500 words in length for high school students and 250 words for middle school students.
  • Essays must be the original work of the author and must not have been submitted to any other contest.
  • Submission of the essay does permit Townsquare Media to publish the winning essay on our digital outlets.
  • Entries must be submitted by a currently enrolled middle school student or high school student in the Tuscaloosa County community.
  • Entries must include the author’s name, grade level, school, and contact information. As well as parents' or guardians name and contact information.
  • Entries can be submitted in two formats. 1) By attaching a Microsoft Word document with all text double-spaced and in 12-point in the online submission portal form. Or 2) in the submission box space in the online submission portal form.
  • Entries must be submitted by the deadline of May 31, 2023, at 11:59 a.m. via the Townsquare Media online portal submission form.
  • Any questions or issues about the essay submission should be emailed to etaxiomega.uplift@gmail.com.
  • The essay winner's parents/legal guardian will be contacted by June 10, 2023
  • Essay winners along with parent(s) or legal guardian(s) will need to be present at the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the NAACP event at Palmore Park on Saturday, June 17, 2023
  • Essays will be judged by an outside panel with no affiliation with Eta Xi Omega, The Cultured Pearls Foundation, The Tuscaloosa Chapter of the NAACP, Townsquare Media, or any local school. The decisions are final and are at the discretion of the judge(s).

Prizes for Juneteenth Essay Winners

  • There will be two prizes, one grand prize of $500 for a high school student and one grand prize of $500 for a middle school student.
  • The submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges and will be based on the composition’s originality, grammar, punctuation, and demonstrated knowledge of the historical significance of Juneteenth.
  • The two Juneteenth essay winners will receive awards that recognize their hard work, creativity, and dedication to the celebration and remembrance of Juneteenth. Winners will receive a $500 scholarship award for educational purposes and a certificate of achievement. The two essay winners are required to be present for the scholarship announcement and presentation on Saturday, June 17 at the Juneteenth Festival with the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the NAACP.
  • Winners will be announced at the 2023 Tuscaloosa Chapter of the NAACP Juneteenth event to be held on June 17, 2023.

(Source) Click here for more from the White House about Juneteenth.

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