EJI essay contest deadline extended to March 15

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

Students who attend public high schools in Shelby County may participate in an essay competition for a chance to receive scholarships.

The Equal Justice Initiative, in partnership with the Montevallo Community Remembrance Coalition, is sponsoring the Racial Justice Essay Contest, which invites students in ninth through 12th grades to write on racial injustice themes.

Scholarships totaling at least $5,000 will be given to contest winners.

The deadline to participate has been extended to Sunday, March 15.

The contest coincides with the dedication of an EJI historical marker in Montevallo on Thursday, April 2, memorializing two African American men lynched in 1889 on Montevallo’s Main Street.

Essay contest winners will be recognized at the unveiling ceremony.

Montevallo students are especially encouraged to submit.

The University of Montevallo will offer a workshop for contest entrants on Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 4-5:30 p.m. in Wills Hall on the UM campus.

Students interested in entering the contest will get one-on-one support from UM faculty who share the essayists’ concern for racial justice and are trained to work closely with student writers.

For more information about the workshop, contact Kathy King at kingk@montevallo.edu.

The EJI is a Montgomery-based nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced or abused in state jails and prisons, according to its website.

Part of the organization’s work is dedicated to supporting the installation of historic markers like the one to be installed in Montevallo this year.

More information about the contest can be found at https://tinyurl.com/EJI-Montevallo-EssayContest, or by contacting local organizer Dr. Sierra Turner at diversityandinclusion@montevallo.edu or Essay Coordinator Gabrielle Daniels at gdaniels@eji.org.