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Essay Contest

“Local Lens: The Black Experience in Halton”

The Halton Black History Awareness Society, in partnership with numerous Halton community associates, are pleased to receive your researched narratives and videos on Black History in Halton.

1st, 2nd and 3rd place in essays and in videos to be awarded honourariums, community and cultural award recognition, and media promotion.

Supporting Schoolboards

Wednesday, February 1 - Kick-off

Essays & Videos due Friday May 19, 2023, 5:00 p.m.

Students must consent to the republishing of their essay or video.
No consent/no consideration.

Topics should include:
  • How and why is Black History important to you and society?
  • How does/has Black History impact you and/or your associates/family and society?
  • Why and how is cultural history important to you?

3 Winners for written narratives and 3 Winners for video presentations will be acknowledged with the #1 award and a $500 cheque – 2nd Place - $250 and 3rd Place $100.

Top videos will be accessible on this website, Halton Black History Awareness Society’s YouTube, Metroland Media and local news mediums post competition.

Students can tour events, virtual and/or live, and/or interview story prospects during and after Black History Month. All Halton Region libraries have resource material available.

Project Criteria

Note: 1 typed page is approximately 650 words or 5000 characters

  1. Essay is a maximum of 3 pages = 2000 words or 15000 characters – Video: 3 – 10 minutes max.
  2. Essays and videos must acknowledge resources in footnotes and/or bibliography
  3. No plagiarism.
  4. Thesis statement must acknowledge essay/video overview and/or theme on a personal, “Community”, Education, Family or society perspective
  5. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and diction will be appreciated in the evaluation.
  6. Each narrative/video should include one paragraph on the student’s reflection of what they've learned from the research experience. This can be separate from the 3-page narrative or inclusive in the video introduction or closing. Please send narratives to

Click Here to download the 2023 contest application.


3 Judges will mark submissions out of 50 by the following – Winners will be announced Wednesday June 1st

  1. Research (the writer should cite their sources of information)
  2. Comprehensiveness for quality of writing (are thoughts and points in the essay clear, comprehensive, and coherent?
  3. Relevance of information provided in the essay (Halton Black History)
  4. Presentation (what impression/impact does the essay leave with the reader?)
  5. Originality-uniqueness, novelty, and authenticity of ideas.

The HBHAS thanks you for your participation and welcomes you to our future HBHAS programs and events.
Have a great year at school.


We are elated to have finalized the 2022 winners of our “Local Lens: The Black Experience in Halton” and are pleased to introduce to you:

First Place Co-Winner
Tobi Oyedele
First Place Co-Winner Tobi Oyedele Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School
Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School
First Place Co-Winner
Jackson Carter
First Place Co-Winner Jackson Carter Burlington Central High School
Burlington Central
High School
Second Place Winner
Mya Tatem
Second Place Winner Mya Tatem White Oaks Secondary School
White Oaks
Secondary School
Third Place Winner
Zahra Ba
Third Place Winner Zahra Ba École Secondaire Catholique Sainte-Trinité/Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School
École Secondaire Catholique Sainte-Trinité/Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School

The HBHAS thanks all contestants, jury and project members for their respective input in developing and participating in this project inclusive of the Halton Secondary School Board, Halton Catholic School Board, Metroland Media, Joseph Brant Museum, Oakville Museum and Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills, and Oakville Libraries.

The winning contestants received awards and honorariums in the amount of $500 first prize, $250 second prize and $100 3rd prize. Metroland Media (Inside Halton) interviewed our two first place contestants and placed excerpts of their narratives in their Halton newspapers Burlington Post, Milton Champion, Oakville Beaver and Independent/Free Press as well as enabling viewer opportunities to appreciate all “selected” narratives accessible to all through QR coding. (!Anzit_vbJ_digtx08LP08AbcY5lSBQ?e=NpiTRm).

The winning contestants received their awards at our 2022 Emancipation Gala on July 29th at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, signed and presented by Lawrence Hill and the Halton Black History Awareness Society.

The HBHAS is working towards developing an annual journal, with the support of the partner libraries, museums and sponsors, incorporating “selected” narratives to be distributed within their networks. The HBHAS is looking to annualize this project with focus on our diverse communities, which is the fastest growing visible minority population in Canada. Kudos to Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills in participating and supporting this valuable program as stated by the majority of essay providers.

Thank YOU for your ongoing support and the best of continued successes in appreciating our diverse community, learning about how cultural integration can develop knowledge and self appreciation and identity, and progress towards a more authentic inclusive collaborative environment at home, school and vocation. Thank you for your interest and participation. Continued successes.

Please ... help fund this worthy project with a donation!

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