The Bill of Rights Institute rewards students who rise to the challenge of tackling some of the most compelling questions of our time. This year’s We the Students Essay Contest challenges students to tell what civil discourse means to them. Students who provide the most thoughtful, meaningful responses to this question will receive scholarship awards of up to $7,500. A total of 14 students will receive scholarship prizes totaling $19,000. In their essays, students must not only share their understanding of what civil discourse is meant to be but also relate what it looks like when it works—and when it does not—and why. Students are encouraged to bring emotion, creativity, specific examples (including current events), and well-researched facts into what they write.
Deadline: April 15, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. (PT), for essays
Plus: The We the Students contest isn’t the only opportunity for students to win scholarships and prizes by taking on the crucial issues of the day. Every two weeks on the Bill of Rights Institute’s Think the Vote debate platform, students are invited to share their opinions on a currentevents–related question. Students who make the most persuasive case for their position win a gift card and a chance at a $1,000 scholarship at the end of the school year.
Few American artists loom larger than Langston Hughes. He wrote novels, plays, short stories, films, librettos, children’s verse, newspaper columns, translations, and memoirs, and edited several important anthologies. But most of all, he remained a poet. From “Dreams” to “Let America Be America Again,” he explored social conscience and class difference with lyric beauty and music.
Pithy and powerful, poetry is a popular art form at protests and rallies—from the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter. The poems of protest, resistance, and empowerment on the Poetry Foundation’s website call out and talk back to the inhumane forces that threaten from above.
As part of its work to change the narrative about race in America, the Equal Justice Institute (EJI) extensively researched the period between the Civil War and World War II, when more than 4,000 African Americans were lynched in this country. EJI published its findings in the report Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror. With support from Google, EJI has created Lynching in America, a freedigital interactive experience inspired by the original report.