Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR) and Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) are conducting an essay and art contest for South Asian American students in Grades 6-12 to connect their identities with the historical and contemporary movements for civil and human rights. The contest is being organized to coincide with the 56th anniversary commemoration of the 1965 Bloody Sunday in Selma, which is being held virtually this year during March 5-7, 2021.
The topic of the contest is: “How my identity intersects with the civil rights movement.”
The purpose of the essay is to promote dialogue within the South Asian American community about how much they have benefited from the civil rights and voting rights struggles of the 1960’s. And about how they can contribute meaningfully to the ongoing quest for social justice in America and elsewhere.
Students are being asked to express how their identity informs their understanding of and response to the struggle for civil and human rights. Some of the suggested areas for consideration are: How are they benefitting from the efforts of those who fight for such rights? What does nonviolence as a core principle of such struggles mean to them? How do the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 relate to their experience as a South Asian American today? How does their cultural or religious upbringing affect their engagement with the challenges of our present moment for social justice and human dignity? What are their moral obligations in the face of these challenges? How does their identity intersect or conflict with contemporary civil and human rights issues: e.g. anti-Black racism and the Black Lives Movement, casteism, Islamophobia, LGBTQ+ communities and gender injustice, gun violence, economic disparities, etc.?
The contest is open until February 14, 2021 and will be judged by a distinguished panel of jurors with academic, art, and human rights backgrounds. The winners in each age group category will win a cash prize of $1,000 and the runner-up will receive $500.
The Registration Form for the contest may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y2mgngf6
Detailed Contest Rules and the names of jurors may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/EssayEntRules
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