Essay Contest Sharing Stories About America’s Ideals
Celebrating Student Voices, Facing History’s2018 student essay contest, invites students to reflect on the stories and ideals that have helped shape the ways they think about their roles and responsibilities as engaged members of their communities. The contest highlights themes in the upcoming PBS documentary film American Creed. In the film, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Pulitzer Prize–winning historian David M. Kennedy come together from remarkably different life experiences, backgrounds, and points of view to investigate the idea of a unifying American creed. After watching one or more clips from American Creed, students are encouraged to tell a story that they believe shows the power of uniting people, building bridges, or orienting people to what they share and the common good. Their story can be one from history or from their own community. They can choose to tell the story of an “upstander”—someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied—or they can relate the story of a group that faced challenges and made a positive difference through action. This year’s contest will award more than $25,000 in scholarships and prizes to students and teachers.
Deadlines: March 28, 2018, for essays. Finalists will be announced April 30, and the public will be invited to vote for their favorite essays. Winners of the contest will be announced in May 2018.
From 1892 to 1954, more than 12 million immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island, a small island in New York Harbor within the shadow of the Statue of Liberty. The Ellis Island Oral History project is dedicated to preserving the firsthand recollections of immigrants who passed through the Ellis Island immigration station during that period and the employees who worked there.
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