Teen Diversity Essay Contest 2018

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As the nation continues its historic social shifts relating to race, ethnicity, religion and identity, young people have a great deal to absorb and consider regarding the evolving different America. In order to increase awareness and promote  understanding in this arena, TEAM Westport and The Westport Library are co-sponsoring the fifth annual Teen Diversity Essay Contest for students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 who attend Staples High School or another school in Westport, or reside in Westport and attend school elsewhere. 

Essay Topic: 

The focus of this fifth essay contest is the issue of  'appropriate protest’ which has surfaced recently as a topic of significant national controversy. This year’s invitation states,  “Recently several professional athletes have “taken a knee” during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to bring attention to--and to protest—ongoing bias and discriminatory practices in American society in general and by law enforcement officers in particular.  In reaction, some people have called these athletes “unpatriotic.”  In 1,000 words or fewer, describe your understanding of what it means to be a patriot, what kinds of behavior you think would be unpatriotic, and what forms of protest against discriminatory laws, customs, or patterns of behavior you would consider legitimate."

Essay Process 

Click here for Contest Application. [PDF]

Essays are due no later than Feb. 27, 2018. Winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Westport Library on April 2, 2018. Subject to the volume and caliber of entries received, at the discretion of the judges up to three prizes will be awarded. The first prize is $1,000, the second is $750, and the third prize is $500.