Essay Contest for Teens

During September 2021, East Brunswick Public Library is partnering with The Lost Souls Public Memorial Project to celebrate the diversity of our community and the sense of unity we feel with others in town, as well as to memorialize the 137 African Americans who, in 1818, were kidnapped into the Van Wickle Slave Ring and sent from East Brunswick, NJ to permanent slavery in the Deep South.

As part of this initiative, the library is pleased to sponsor an essay contest for teenagers in middle school, junior high school, and high school, ages 13-18 years of age.  Teens who reside in any of the towns belonging to LMxAC are invited to enter the contest.  Click here to see if your town is an LMxAC member.  Entries will be accepted until 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

For your essay, please familiarize yourself with the story of these 137 African Americans by visiting The Lost Souls Public Memorial Project.

Then write up to 500 words, reflecting on one of the two following prompts:

What are the effects of racism on modern society?  Physiological, psychological, historical, structural, etc. are all options to explore.

How does a broader knowledge of history propel us (as a society or as individuals) to reckon with our community's past and move forward to a more equitable society?

Essays will be judged by a panel of teen committee members, Lost Souls Public Memorial Project staff, and librarians.  Judges will not see your name with your essay.  A winner will be selected and contacted in late September.

Once the contest has concluded, all entries will be posted on the library's website.  Writers will be identified by First name, Last initial.  All entrants will be notified by email when the essays have been posted.

Entries will be accepted until 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

Thank you for your interest in this initiative.

Please click here to submit your entry.

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