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Deadline Extended For Westport Teen Diversity Essay Contest

The deadline for submitting essays for the third annual Teen Diversity Essay Contest, sponsored by the Westport Library and TEAM Westport, has been extended to Thursday, March 31.
The deadline for submitting essays for the third annual Teen Diversity Essay Contest, sponsored by the Westport Library and TEAM Westport, has been extended to Thursday, March 31. Photo Credit: Jllm06 Wikimedia Commons

WESTPORT, Conn. -- The deadline for submitting essays for the third annual Teen Diversity Essay Contest, sponsored by the Westport Library and TEAM Westport, has been extended to Thursday, March 31.

Winners of the contest will be announced at a ceremony at the library on Monday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. Up to three prizes will be awarded: $1,000 for first prize, $750 for second and $500 for third.

Applications are available on the TEAM Westport website. The contest is for students in grades 9 through 12 who attend high school in Westport or reside in Westport and attend school elsewhere.

The topic for the 2016 Essay Contest is the rapidly changing public awareness, attitudes and discussion about race in America. This year’s premise is: “In the past year a troubling number of highly charged and tragic incidents – from Ferguson to Charleston to Chicago – have prompted public discussions and protests on college campuses about the state of race relations in the U.S. People disagree on the nature of the problem and on the appropriate way to address divisions in our society.”

Participants are invited to write an essay of 1,000 words or less “describing how you, personally, make sense of the events that have occurred.” Individuals or organizations who would like to participate in sponsorship of the contest are invited to contribute by contacting TEAM Westport at info@teamwestport.org.

“This is a truly important, timely issue,” said Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer. “Writing about this topic will help young people think deeply about the state of race relations in this country. We strongly encourage students to participate.”

TEAM Westport is the official committee of the Town of Westport established to “achieve, celebrate and extend a more welcoming, multicultural community” with a focus on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. TEAM is an acronym standing for “Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism.”

TEAM Westport was launched as a Selectman’s Task Force in 2003 and became a standing-town committee in 2005. Now in its 11th year, TEAM Westport has developed a unique role in the community.

It engages the community and draws attention to issues surrounding multiculturalism and diversity - making the invisible visible. In addition to initiatives it implements directly, TEAM Westport affects a wide range of municipal government and community institutions by partnering with them.

For further information, call 203-291-4800 or visit westportlibrary.org.

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