As an element of the 14th annual YWCA national Stand Against Racism the The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is currently accepting entries for its second annual essay contest. The essay contest is to provide middle and high school students an outlet to explore their experiences around racism and express them in a safe, accessible environment. The YWCA will award four prizes, one each from both Darien and Norwalk at both the middle and high school levels. The igh school level winners will each receive a $250 prize and the middle school winners will each receive a prize of $100.

Stand Against Racism is a signature campaign of YWCA USA and is designed to raise awareness about the negative impact of racism in our communities. This campaign is one part of the YWCA’s larger national strategy to fulfill our mission of eliminating racism. It provides opportunities for communities everywhere to unite their voices, educate, advocate and promote social justice.

This year, students are asked to apply this quote from John F. Kennedy to a modern day situation and how it has impacted them, “Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted; when we tolerate what we know to be wrong; when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened; when we fail to speak up and speak out--we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.”

“The prompt was chosen before we were impacted by the coronavirus. Little did we know what was coming with the COVID-19 crisis and the increase in not only racism but xenophobia and regionalism as people from various parts of our own country were singled out. It is the hope of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk that high school and middle school students take some time and really reflect on what they are seeing take place in their world right now as it relates to social justice,” Judy Phillips, President and CEO of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk said.

This year, students are asked to apply this quote from John F. Kennedy to a modern day situation and how it has impacted them, “Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted; when we tolerate what we know to be wrong; when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened; when we fail to speak up and speak out--we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.”

The deadline for students to submit essays is Monday, April 20. Winners will be chosen by a panel of local leaders and announced on Sunday, April 27. The rules and requirements for the essay contest, including word counts and how to submit entries, can be found at www.ywcadn.org/SARessay2020