To push back against stereotyping, intolerance, racism and bullying — some of the more challenging issues children face today — high school students across the region are being encouraged to write and illustrate books that highlight diversity and inclusion.
B’nai B’rith International is pleased to announce a call for submissions for the Diverse Minds Writing Challenge, its signature tolerance education program that asks high school students to write and illustrate a children’s book that teaches acceptance. Winning books are published and the top winners earn college scholarships.
The contest, which is offered through the generous support of Pepco, is available to students in Washington, D.C., Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. B’nai B’rith is proud to work in partnership with Pepco, a company that has long been committed to inclusion and diversity.
In the last 11 years, B’nai B’rith has published 37 original children’s books, awarded more than $300,000 in college scholarships and grants, and donated more than 42,000 books to public schools, libraries and community organizations across the country.
The winning student, or team of students, earn the prestige of becoming a published author and also secure a $5,000 college scholarship. The professionally published winning books are donated to local elementary schools and libraries and will also be accessible in an e-book format on iTunes as a free download.
Students are eligible to participate if they are enrolled in grades nine through 12 in public schools in the District of Columbia or Montgomery County and Prince George's County in Maryland; or enrolled in private, charter or independent schools in the District and those counties. The deadline for contest submissions is March 16, 2018.
The second-place winner earns a $2,000 college scholarship, and the third-place winner receives $1,000 in financial aid for college. The teacher who oversees the winning entry will secure a $1,000 grant, and the school of the first-place winning student receives a $500 grant.
A diverse panel of judges from the worlds of education, the arts, business and government, along with B’nai B’rith International leaders, will review the entries and select the winners. Previous judging panel members have included Dave Velazquez, president & CEO of Pepco Holdings; Carolyn Parkhurst, children’s author; Ed DeLeon, chief program officer, Read Across America, for the National Education Association; Jacqueline Jules, children’s author and poet; and Lissa Rosenthal-Yoffe, executive director of the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative.
B’nai B’rith created this education and awareness program to promote tolerance and communicate a message of equality among all races, ages, abilities and genders, and it is our hope that this educational initiative will encourage our future leaders to be more accepting of one another’s differences.
For more information and detailed contest rules, please visit the Diverse Minds Writing Challenge site here.