Nov. 2 is deadline for students entering scholarship essays on racial inequality

$5,000 to be awarded to Shelby County students

The Equal Justice Initiative has announced a scholarship contest open to students grades 9-12 attending high school in Shelby County where prizes totaling $5,000 will be awarded.

Local organizer Delbert Jackson said the scholarship contest coincides with the Equal Justice Initiative's dedication of a marker in Shelby County. The marker will memorialize two African American men, Lige Daniels, lynched on Aug. 3, 1920, and Buddy Evans lynched on May 21, 1928.

Scholarship winners will be announced and recognized at an event unveiling the historical marker in December 2018, he said.

Shepherd Mary Jean Cartwright and Bishop Howard Cloudy of Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ, 3rd District, will host the Community Remembrance Program at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, Jackson said.

The winners of the Essay Writing Contest will be presented with their awards during the remembrance program.

“The Community Remembrance Program will follow Equal Justice Initiative's Historical Marker installation and dedication to the victims of lynching in Shelby County at noon that day, Jackson said.

The Historical Marker is being fabricated now in San Antonio Tx and will be ready and shipped by the installing date of Dec. 8 or one week prior to the actual installation and dedication.

“Several members of the Equal Justice Initiative will be in attendance that day and we hope that everyone will be in attendance for a day of reflection including truth and reconciliation,” Jackson said.

The 2018 Racial Justice Essay Contest is open to all public-school students in grades 9-12 living in Shelby County, Jackson said. Essay should be between 700 words and 800 words.


The history of racial inequality and economic injustice in America has created continuing challenges for all Americans, Jackson said.

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The Equal Justice Initiative has documented more than 468 lynchings of African Americans in Texas between 1877 and 1950, including those in Shelby County. Organizers said they believe that a deeper understanding about the nation’s history of racial injustice is important to addressing contemporary questions of social justice and equality.

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