The Morgan Project (TMP) recently announced the launch of the Conflict and Courage Scholarship Contest. The contest is open to Alabama students in grades nine through 12. Submissions can be written …
The Morgan Project (TMP) recently announced the launch of the Conflict and Courage Scholarship Contest. The contest is open to Alabama students in grades nine through 12. Submissions can be written as an essay (500 to 2,000 words), a poem (up to 500 words), or as a podcast or short film (five minutes maximum). Essays and poems should be typed, and podcasts and short films should be submitted as either an mp4 or mp3 file.
Submissions must be accompanied by the attached Conflict and Courage Challenge Certification Form and a student photo. Essay submissions will be accepted from Feb. 15 - March 31. Prior to the announcement of winners, finalists will be asked to participate in either an in-person or virtual interview. Winners will be announced no later than May 15. Prizes range from $750 to $1,500.
Submissions must be entirely the author’s original work, and may be published by TMP in recognition of the author and high school. A panel will judge submissions based on the strength of the answers to each of the questions presented below in the essay contest topic. Judges’ selections are final.
Students are encouraged to choose one of the following topics to use:
1) Choose a personal experience that involved conflict or violence that led you to take an unpopular stand. Did you know it was not popular? Why did you take that stand? What were the consequences for you or friends and family? Did you expect those consequences? Did you regret your decision?
2) Choose a personal experience in which you went with what friends did, even though you did not think it was right. What did you learn, and how will it affect your actions in the future? Would you choose a different action today?
3) Choose an event from the news of the past several years in which someone took an unpopular stand. Describe the conflict, and what acts you would have taken if you were there that reflected courage and why.
4) Choose an event from Birmingham’s past in which someone took an unpopular stand. Write why you think he or she did the right thing, what happened as a result, and what would have happened if he or she had not taken action. (Provide sources for information.)
5) Examine the history of a topic of racial justice and discuss its legacy/effect today. Essays should explain historical event(s), explain how the injustice/conflict persisted, and how courage was modeled and by whom.
TMP is a nonprofit organization in Birmingham, Alabama. Its mission is to “teach civil rights and social justice through Birmingham’s history of conflict and courage,” according to a release. TMP offers a curriculum deigned for grades four, six, seven and 11.
The Conflict and Courage lesson plan focuses on the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on Sept. 15, 1963 and the speech the next day, by a white lawyer to white businessmen of Birmingham, publicly condemning all of white Birmingham for letting years of racism and abuse go unpunished.
Conflict and Courage encourages students to use their own critical-thinking skills, while guiding students and listeners to understand that conflict is an inevitable part of improving society, and knowing how to handle conflict a necessary part of supporting a healthy community.
To learn more or donate to TMP, visit www.morganproject.org. For more information, contact Ashley Mann at 205-317-9397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions and certification forms must be submitted to www.morganproject.org.