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'Voices for Change' Student Essay and Presentation Contest—Top Prize of $750

Posted 08/20/2014
Submitted by Alexandra Coury
Category: Campus Announcements, Student Announcements

Voices for Change Contest
“Voices of Yesterday
Leaders of Tomorrow”

The Student Government Association and the Women’s Education and Leadership Fund (WELFund) invite undergraduate students to enter an upcoming essay and presentation contest. The contest will require students to write a two-page essay on a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and answer the question: “How does this leader inspire you to make change in the world?”

Students are encouraged to write about a leader who hasn’t received great public attention but made a large impact in the Civil Rights Movement (a sample list of potential leaders is included in the attached document at the end of this article). The top five essay writers will be asked to present their thoughts in two-to-four-minute presentations at the "Voices for Change" event on Thursday, Sept. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Regents Commons, Shaw Center.

"Voices for Change" is part of a weeklong series of events, titled "Empowering Change," celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act. The "Empowering Change" programs will take place at the University from September 14–22.  

Rob King, senior vice president of Sports Center and News at ESPN, will be the Voices for Change Contest emcee. In addition, social activist Ruby Sales will be speaking at the event.

The judges of the event will select a first- and second-place winner from the student presentations. The first-place winner will receive a cash prize of $750, the second-place winner will receive $500, and the three remaining finalists will receive $250 each. Students will be judged on strength of essay and strength of presentation (comprehension, impact of personal message, and ability to bring their research to life).

Essays are due by email to Alex Coury (, program manager of WELFund, no later than 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

SGA and WELFund ask professors to help promote the event to students—both by encouraging submission of essays and encouraging attendance at the event.

All questions should be directed to Alex Coury, Program Manager of WELFund, by email (

Click the link below to download additional details about the contest. 


'Voices for Change' Contest
Download document