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Essay Contest

“Local Lens: Multiculturalism: Cultural Equality”

The Halton Black History Awareness Society (HBHAS), in partnership with numerous Halton community associates, are pleased to invite young people to learn about Halton’s diverse history and present innovative ways to eradicate racism, hate and bullying within Halton.

HBHAS’ Local Lens project is a learning opportunity for young people and audiences. Young people are invited to enter the essay contest. Through video, spoken word and written essays they present their ideas around how to eradicate racism, hate and bullying within Halton.

Kick-off: Friday January 26, 2024

Presentations due Friday June 15, 2024, 5:00 p.m.

Click Here to download the 2024 Contest Poster.

Supporting Schoolboards

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

2024 Theme: What can Canada do to improve Cultural Equality – Current Status & Solutions.

Essays can be about Halton’s multicultural History, Status and/or Contributors.

3 Winners will be acknowledged and awarded an honourarium at the HBHAS. Freedom Celebration Gala, August 1, 2024, with trophy/award and 1st $500 cheques – 2nd Place - $250 and 3rd Place $100.

Top narratives will be published in an annual Halton “Local Lens” Journal.

Students can tour events during Black History Month for input and research.

Click Here to download the 2024 Contest Criteria.

Project Criteria

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

  1. Essay maximum 3 pages = 2000 words or 15000 characters. Video & Spoken Word maximum 3 minutes.
  2. Essay must acknowledge resources in footnotes and/or bibliography.
  3. No plagiarism.
  4. Thesis statement must acknowledge essay overview and/or theme.
  5. Thesis must align to Halton’s Multi-cultural history and/or contributors.
  6. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and diction will be appreciated in evaluations.
  7. Reflections: Each presentation should include a one paragraph or one minute monologue on your reflection on what you have learned from the experience. This can be separate from the 3-page narrative/3-minute video presentation. Please send narrative in Word and Pdf format to HBHAScontest@gmail.com.

Click Here to download the 2024 Contest Application.

Evaluation

Judges will mark submissions out of 50 by the following

  1. Research (the presenter should cite their sources of information) [10]
  2. Comprehensiveness for quality of writing (are thoughts and points in the essay clear, comprehensive, and coherent?) [10]
  3. Relevance of information provided in the essay (Halton Multi-cultural History) [10]
  4. Presentation (what impression/impact does the essay leave with the reader?) [10]
  5. Originality-uniqueness, novelty, and authenticity of ideas. [10]

Winners will be announced Monday June 17, 2024

Click Here to download the 2024 Contest Flyer.

contest-contributors

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

2023 CONTEST WINNERS

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. Continued successes.

Winner
Maya Jazayeri
Maya Jazayeri - Winner from Burlington Central High School
Burlington Central
High School

Maya Jazayeri, who just completed Gr. 9 at Burlington Central High School, is the 2023 winner of the Halton Black History Awareness Society annual essay contest.

Under the theme Local Lens: The Black Experience in Halton, Maya titled her essay The Butterfly Effect: Unveiling its Impact on Halton’s Black History with the objective of “highlighting how seemingly minor occurrences have culminated into notable milestones for the Black community.”

Her essay describes how Halton became a safe haven for many Black slaves fleeing the United States and how their entrepreneurship helped the local economy.

“Every story starts with individual catalysts, people who embody the spirit of positive change and sow the seeds of the process, and whose footprints leave behind energy, inspiration, and lifelong changes for the following generations," she wrote.

Hearing about the essay contest, gave her “a sense of great desire and dedication to deepen my connection with my community through diving far into the untold stories, the triumphs, and the resilience displayed by all the Black individual catalysts.”

Through her writing process, Maya said she came to realize that Black history is Canadian history. She said she discovered “a sense of connection to my personal community and developed a sense of responsibility to continue to advocate for the needs of minority races, as their history, is my history.”

The Butterfly Effect: Unveiling its impact on Halton’s Black History Maya Jazayeri, 2023 First Place Recipient Gr. 9, Burlington Central High School April 22, 2023 "The flapping of the wings of a butterfly can be felt on the other side of the world." (Lorenz, 1960), A simple theory deemed as the butterfly effect, which simply highlights the capability of small actions generating large changes.

2022 CONTEST WINNERS

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. (https://1drv.ms/u/s!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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