Dekalb Remembrance Project Committee

The winners of the Lowndes County Racial Justice Essay Contest were announced on July 30, 2016. Photo by Caleb Chancey.

Racial Justice Essay Contest

The Equal Justice Initiative in partnership with the DeKalb County Remembrance Project Committee is pleased to announce a scholarship contest open to 9th – 12th grade students attending public high school in DeKalb County, Georgia, where prizes totaling at least $7,000 will be awarded to winning participants.

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) offers this opportunity in connection with its Community Remembrance Historical Marker Project, which focuses on memorializing the more than 4,400 African American victims of racial terror lynching killed between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and World War II. EJI acknowledges that our national history of racial inequality and economic injustice has created continuing challenges for all Americans. Communities across our nation have been profoundly impacted by the legacies of the eras of enslavement, racial terror lynching, and segregation in ways that continue to influence our social, political, and personal practices and institutions. EJI and local communities are working together to help advance a more truthful understanding of our history through memorialization and community remembrance. We believe that a deeper understanding about our nation’s history of racial injustice is important to addressing contemporary questions of social justice and equality, and each Historical Marker Project helps our nation participate more fully in a sequential process of truth and reconciliation.

2020 Racial Justice Essay Contest for DeKalb County, Georgia

This scholarship contest coincides with a forthcoming dedication of a historical marker in Decatur, Georgia. The marker will memorialize known and unknown African American victims of lynching in DeKalb County between 1877 and 1950 . EJI has documented over 500 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in the State of Georgia, between 1877 and 1950.

Scholarship winners will be announced and recognized at an event unveiling the historical marker in in front of the DeKalb County courthouse on March 29, 2020. More information will be shared closer to the ceremony date.

To Learn More about Participating in this Contest, please see the Eligibility and Essay Guidelines for more information.

This Essay Contest Officially Opens on February 1, 2020.


Please contact your local organizer, Sydney Cleland at or Gabrielle Daniels, EJI Essay Coordinator, at