EJI Essay Contest Now Open


The Equal Justice Initiative in partnership with the Washington County Community Remembrance Project is pleased to announce an upcoming scholarship contest open to 9th – 12th-grade students attending public high school in Washington County, where prizes totaling at least $5,000 will be awarded to winning participants.

Students are asked to examine the history of a topic of racial injustice and to discuss its legacy today. Essays should explain the chosen topic using a specific historical event(s), explore how the injustice persists, and imagine solutions for a future free from racial injustice. Students are encouraged to reflect on how the topic impacts their own lives and communities.

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) offers this opportunity in connection with its Community Remembrance Project, which focuses on memorializing the more than 4,400 African American victims of racial terror lynching killed between the end of Reconstruction in 1877 and World War II. EJI acknowledges that our national history of racial inequality and economic injustice has created continuing challenges for all Americans. Communities across our nation have been profoundly impacted by the legacies of the eras of enslavement, racial terror lynching, and segregation in ways that continue to influence our social, political, and personal practices and institutions. EJI and local communities are working together to help advance a more truthful understanding of our history through memorialization and community remembrance. We believe that a deeper understanding about our nation’s history of racial injustice is important to addressing contemporary questions of social justice and equality, and each project helps our nation participate more fully in a sequential process of truth and reconciliation.


This scholarship contest is part of the community remembrance work of the Washington County Community Remembrance Project. The coalition has plans for a forthcoming historical marker in remembrance of enslaved men who were lynched in 1856. EJI has documented at least 500 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in the State of Arkansas between 1877 and 1950.

Scholarship winners will be announced and recognized in the spring. More details will be forthcoming.

This Essay Contest Officially Opens on January 25, 2021, ends April 30th.

Details about essay contest guidelines and how to submit entries will be available at that time.


Contact Information:

Local Organizer(s): Katie Powell at katie.wilson921@gmail.com or the Washington County Remembrance Project at wccrproject@gmail.com

EJI Essay Contest Coordinator(s): Kayla Vinson at kvinson@eji.org and Kiara Boone at kboone@eji.org