Springfield community remembrance coalition

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 Springfield Community Remembrance Coalition is pleased to announce a scholarship contest open to 9th – 12th grade students attending public high school in Springfield, MO, where prizes totaling at least $5,000 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.

2019 Racial Justice Essay Contest for Greene County, Missouri

This scholarship contest coincides with a forthcoming dedication of a historical marker in Springfield, Missouri. The marker will memorialize Horace Duncan, Fred Coker, and William Allen, three African American men who were lynched just before Easter Sunday morning in April 1906 in the town square in Springfield. EJI has documented at least 60 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in the State of Missouri between 1877 and 1950.

The historical marker will be dedicated on October 2, 2019, and scholarship winners will be announced and honored at our annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on January 20, 2020. More information about attending the Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony will be forthcoming.

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


Please contact your local organizer, Dr. Allison Pilley at APilley@SPSmail.org or Gabrielle Daniels, EJI Essay Coordinator, at gdaniels@eji.org.