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Writing contest explores Black History Month

Black History Month
Posted On: Thursday, January 28, 2021

Black History Month

In a joint effort with teachers, This is OH, and OH Stand, Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School has announced a writing contest to support ongoing conversations around anti-racism. This first-ever event allows students in grades 7-12 to research the many people of African descent who often do not get covered in textbooks and/or during Black History Month celebrations. Winning submissions will be announced Feb. 26 during a culminating celebration by OHbreathe. Prizes will be awarded from local businesses.

Contest Guidelines:

  • The composition can be based on any person, or group of persons, of African descent from any country from the past to the present.
  • The composition’s subject may be an innovator and/or contributor to any field of knowledge (such as mathematics, science, technology, the arts, or athletics/sports) and/or any area of public service (politics, religion, social justice, military service, etc.).
  • Students must explain the accomplishments of the person or persons and how those accomplishments are important.
  • Students must use credible sources in constructing the composition and use MLA style for in-text citations.
  • Works cited for any and all sources must be provided.
  • The submission must be between 350-750 words.
  • Students should contact Mrs. Kozy, Mr. Kinkaid, or Ms. Eisenbaum with queries.
  • The contest deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 16.

(Note: Workshops and after-school help will be available during the writing process. Students should ask an English teacher if they need help with a submission. In addition, teachers are gathering ideas for African innovators in their fields to support student writers. Students should reach out to their teachers to get ideas and create much needed dialogue that moves discussions of race out of being relegated to English and Social Studies.)

Recognition will be awarded by grade bands and with gift cards to businesses such as Chipotle, Barry Bagels, Starbucks, SIP, Jamba Juice, Handel’s, and Amazon.

  • Grades 7 and 8: First and Second Prize
  • Grades 9 and 10: First and Second Prize
  • Grades 11 and 12: First and Second Prize

Submissions will be judged by panels consisting of members of the community group This is OH and student groups OHbreathe and OH Stand.

All entries must be submitted to
BHM Writing Contest
Enrollment: greenbears
Class ID: 28013899

Winners will be announced, have their pictures showcased on the marquee outside the school, and be given the opportunity to present their composition at the This is OH February “read in” community event.

We are looking forward to reading some excellent submissions!

About OH Stand

OH Stand is a student-initiated group dedicated to educating the students, staff, and community on how to have discussions about race. Geared toward movements of anti-racism, the group hopes to host schoolwide events and help OH answer the questions: Whose voices are being represented in our curriculum, how do we integrate discussions of race into our content, and what does anti-racism look, sound, and feel like.

About This is OH

This is OH is a group of neighbors, educators, parents, community members, and hopeful thought leaders. They are committed to bringing education, action, and thoughtful conversation to the Village of Ottawa Hills to increase awareness and action on the topics of biases, discrimination, and exclusion of any kind, but primarily based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, and/or sexual orientation. It is a non-profit organization open to everyone who lives and works in the Village of Ottawa Hills.  

About OHbreathe

The purpose of OHbreathe is to influence positive transformation in the Ottawa Hills Jr./Sr. High School community through monthly workshops and speakers that inspire growth and deepening connectivity between students and teachers. It is a student-led initiative that organizes and leads monthly sessions–including but not limited to cooking, board games, yoga, meditation, plant therapy, origami, knitting, coloring, essential oils, and many more–that help students learn positive ways to deal with stress and anxiety. The other component is a monthly speaker series that helps students navigate similar topics related to wellness and mental health.

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