Facing INjustice Project

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 Facing Injustice Project is pleased to announce a scholarship contest open to 9th – 12th grade students attending public high school in Vigo County, where prizes totaling at least $5,000 will be awarded to winning participants.

Students are asked to examine the history of a topic of racial injustice and to discuss its legacy today. Essays should explain the chosen topic using a specific historical event(s), explore how the injustice persists, and imagine solutions for a future free from racial injustice. Students are encouraged to reflect on how the topic impacts their own lives and communities.

To learn more about the Facing Injustice Project, visit http://www.facinginjustice.org/

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) offers this opportunity in connection with its Community Remembrance 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 project helps our nation participate more fully in a sequential process of truth and reconciliation.

EJI Racial Justice Essay Contest for Vigo County, IN

This essay scholarship contest is part of the community remembrance work of the NAACP of the Greater Terre Haute Area and the Facing Injustice Committee. A marker for George Ward, a black man, who was lynched in 1901 will be placed in Fairbanks Park on September 26, 2021. This marker ceremony is open to the public and will begin at 3:00 P.M (EST).

EJI has documented at least 18 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in the state of Indiana between 1877 and 1950.

The essay contest will launch on September 13, in 2021, in each of the Vigo County Public High Schools: Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South, Washington Alternative School, and West Vigo. Teachers are available to assist students in each school. Scholarship Winners will be announced and recognized during a Martin Luther King, JR. Summit on January 22, 2022.

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

This Essay Contest Officially Opens on September 13, 2021.



Please contact your local organizer, Linda Lambert at lklambert0717@gmail.com, or Gabrielle Daniels, EJI Essay Coordinator, at gdaniels@eji.org.

For Students Interested in Participating

We are so glad that you are considering participating in this essay contest! We hope it will be a meaningful experience for you.

To get started, visit the Choosing an Essay Topic page to explore what you might be interested in writing about in your essay. Students are encouraged to think about their topic, it’s connect to current day issues, and take time to review reliable resources.

We encourage you to carefully review the "Essay Preparation Instructions" and "Qualities of a Winning Essay" sections on the Eligibility and Essay Guidelines page to prepare your essay.

If you would like additional feedback on how to prepare your essay, please see our Tips for Students for more information.

For Parents, Educators, and Community Groups

We strongly encourage parents, educators, and those who serve students in community organizations to partner with students and lend them support during their essay preparation. Offering assistance with editing or listening to their essay prior to submission to offer feedback are great ways to strengthen students' writing skills and essay focus. For more information on how you and others can support students, please review our Resources for Parents, Schools, and Community Groups.