Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) and husband Jonathan Buckney-Smalls are inviting V.I. high school sophomores and juniors to participate in the annual Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Essay Contest.
Each year the spouses of the Congressional Black Caucus Members volunteer with the CBC to dedicate their time and talents to creating educational opportunities to prepare our future leaders. The contest is for qualified African-American students from the territory.
Students are presented with a topic that embodies some of our communities’ most pressing issues and are asked to write an essay to defend their research, analyses and opinion. Submissions are judged by a special committee of CBC Spouses. Winners and their families will be invited to Washington, DC in September to accept their awards and attend a panel discussion on the topic during the CBCF 47th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC).
Last year, essay contestants wrote passionately about the issue of civic engagement among youth. High-school students from all over the country shared how they can get involved in both political and nonpolitical processes to move their communities forward. At a Youth Issue Forum during ALC ’16, students engaged in a very lively and emotional dialogue with informed panelists. This year, the topic will focus specifically on entrepreneurship.
The 2017 essay contest question is “The Legacy Of Entrepreneurship In African-American Communities.”
In the early 1900s, a thriving black community emerged in Greenwood, Oklahoma. Known as Black Wall Street, the community became one of the wealthiest and most successful neighborhoods in the country. There were black-owned hospitals, grocery stores, bus systems, banks, restaurants, privately-owned planes, hotels, law offices, and much more. The community flourished until 1921, when it was burned down. Today, it is important to continue to recognize the impact of Black Wall Street and encourage the spirit of business ownership among Black communities.
Discuss the importance of business ownership within the African-American community. What factors in today’s society contribute to the lack of black business ownership and entrepreneurial growth in our communities? If you could start your own business to address a social, cultural, environmental, or economic issue in your community, what would it be and why? Your business could revolve around a product, service, or both.
All written essay submissions are due by Sunday, May 7, 2017. Winners will be selected on or before Monday, June 19, 2017. The first place winner will receive $1,500; second place will receive $1,000 and third place will receive $750. All three finalists will receive airfare and hotel accommodations to and from Washington, D.C. to attend a congratulatory luncheon and youth issue forum that is held during ALC ’17 in September.
See Related Links below to download the rules and a submission form.