The B’nai B’rith International Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge charges teens with writing and illustrating children’s books that explain diversity and tolerance to elementary school-aged children. The first-place winner will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and will have his/her book professionally published. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Memphis in May.
Last year’s winning entry, “Charlie’s Book,” can be found at each public library and elementary school in Shelby County.
This marks the fifth year for the contest and the second year it is offered in Memphis.
Memphis winners in the 2010 contest were:
1st: Charlie’s Book, written by Rachel E. Green, illustrated by Irene Makapugay
2nd: Luke and His Stripes, written and illustrated by Eric Ruleman and Brett Wagner
3rd: Amelia Ladybug Learns a Lesson, written and illustrated by Emily Harrison
This education and awareness initiative was created in conjunction with B’nai B’rith programs that promote tolerance and communicate a message of equality among all citizens. The contest aims to enlighten, inspire and educate America's young people and their families in an effort to destroy prejudices and strengthen the future of our youth.
The 2011 contest formally launches in Shelby County during the week of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday to honor his life’s work for the cause of equality.
Once again, the first place winner or winning team in Shelby County will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and will have their winning submission published as books and distributed to libraries and elementary schools in and around Memphis. The second place winner receives a $2,000 scholarship, and the third place winner earns a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, the teacher who oversees the creation of the first place submission will receive a $500 stipend to use for classroom or organizational materials, and the school will win a $500 grant.
A panel of judges from the Memphis worlds of education, the arts and government, along with B’nai B’rith International leaders will review the submissions and select the winners. B’nai B’rith is pleased to work in partnership with The Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc., whose grant funding made possible the launch of the Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge in Shelby County.
The deadline for contest submissions is Monday, March 7, 2011. Additional program information can be found at www.bnaibrith.org/diverseminds.