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Essay Contest - Deadline 11.13.2020

Good Trouble: The Voting Experiences of Communities of Color

Deadline for Submissions: November 13, 2020

1st Prize $300  |  2nd Prize $200

Voting is what John Lewis called “good trouble.” Exercising the right to vote seems more important than ever. The truth is that, for all Americans of color, the right to vote in any election has always been pivotal to our democracy. For many of our parents, grandparents, and elders in our communities, the right to vote has meant facing threats, intimidation, violence, and suppression, sometimes subtle, sometimes overt, but always present. The reality is that the right to vote has always come with high risks for communities of color. As we rise to the challenge of voting today in the midst of a global coronavirus pandemic, we need to know the struggles and lessons of yesterday.

The Black Studies Program encourages all students to interview their parents, grandparents, and other elders who risked good trouble for the right to vote or who helped others to secure this right. We invite you to learn the personal histories of your own heroes and sheroes and to share those histories in essays and/or creative works that honor and give witness to those individuals who risked good trouble to cast their ballots and paved the way for us today.

750 word minimum
Times New Roman, 12pt double-spaced

Please email all essays to Dr. Adrienne Gosselin,
associate professor of English, at