Diverse Minds Writing Challenge
The Diverse Minds Writing Challenge is an education and awareness initiative created by B’nai B’rith International as one of its programs to promote tolerance and communicate a message of equality among all citizens, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. Our goal is to destroy prejudices and strengthen the future of our youth through creativity, inspiration and education.
For 12 years, this innovative scholarship competition asked high school students to write and illustrate a children’s book that told a story of tolerance, diversity or inclusion. Executed through public, private and charter high schools in select communities. Diverse Minds encouraged teens to create innovative ways to teach tolerance to elementary-aged children, as well as encounter new insights into these issues for themselves. The contest winner in each contest city/region received a $5,000 college scholarship and became a published author.
Since its inception in 2006, B’nai B’rith has published 41 original children’s books, some in two different languages (English and Spanish), awarded more than $337,000 in college scholarships and grants, and donated more than 45,000 books to public schools, libraries and community organizations across the country and created 55 authors/illustrators.
As of 2019, we are not offering the Diverse Minds Writing Challenge in any contest regions. Thank you to all of our program sponsors, partner schools, teachers, students and families who have participated in the Diverse Minds program over the years – the books and their messages of hope will live on in public libraries and schools across the country, as well as on our website.
2018 Awards Ceremony – Washington, D.C.
2018 Washington, D.C. Awards Ceremony Photos
Past Awards Ceremony Videos
Download the 2018 Winning Books
The Impact of Diverse Minds
I just wanted to follow up on the teacher grant portion of Sylvia Yu’s Diverse Minds book competition award. I’m attaching photos of Claudia Rankin’s book “Citizen,” which the funds helped purchase for our poetry workshop and American literature classes.
Below that is a photograph of author Patricia Park speaking to three classes of Stuyvesant seniors about her Korean-American adaptation of “Jane Eyre,” titled “Re: Jane.”
Because of your grant, we were able to pay her a small but meaningful honorarium. Exposure to Rankin’s moving meditation on her experience as an African American woman and to a novelist who so movingly articulates so many of the experiences of our first and second generation immigrant students surely extends the mission of your organization, and I look forward to keeping in touch about other uses of the generous grant.
Thank you again! It has brought me such joy to think of your mission at this time of national division and I look forward to continuing to use it to celebrate as many diverse voices as I can.
Stuyvesant High School in New York, N.Y.
Diverse Minds In The Media
South Jersey contest winner: The dragon who teaches tolerance
Mcgraw-Hill Education Partners With B’nai B’rith To Bring Diversity Writing Challenge To Columbus High School Students
TODAY Show Toy Drive
The books are written and illustrated by high school students as part of our Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge to help grade school children celebrate tolerance and diversity. In New York City, B’nai B’rith sent the donated books to AHRC New York City and Inwood House. In the Midwest, we shipped books to Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Detroit and One Heartland in Willow River, Minn.
During our four years of participation, B’nai B’rith has worked with the Today Show Toy Drive to distribute 2,400 copies of B’nai B’rith’s original children’s books across the country to charities, libraries and Boys and Girls Clubs. We are excited to once again be a part of this wonderful holiday endeavor.
Watch the following video of previous winner of the B’nai B’rith Diverse Minds Writing Challenge Kristina Rudulfo discuss her experience with the contest, becoming a published author, and how her book teaches lessons of tolerance and diversity.
List Of Winners
B’nai B’rith International
801 Second Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10017
If you are with a foundation or corporation that would like more information about sponsoring the Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge in your city, or you are with a non-profit community organization who would like to receive donated books, please contact Andrea Cure at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-490-1352.