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Black History Month Essay & Poster Contest

The Tribune-Democrat, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and the Ron Fisher African American History Educational Fund are presenting an opportunity for area young people to celebrate Black History Month in February through essays and posters.

The essay and poster contests are open to students in all area schools. Cash prizes and plaques will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners in each contest. This year, even more categories and age divisions will be offered, and The Tribune-Democrat will again publish the works online and in print.

The categories:

• For pupils in kindergarten through Grade 4: Depict a famous African American figure who is making a difference. Posters should be no larger than 24 inches by 36 inches.

• For students in fifth through eighth grades: Consider a time when you were the only person with a specific characteristic in the entire room. An example would be the only middle schooler in a group of high schoolers. Did people treat you differently or were they inclusive? How did this make you feel? Posters, short films, and multimedia presentations are permitted. Posters should be no larger than 24 inches by 36 inches.

• For students in ninth through 12th grades: In an essay, answer this question: What is one step that you believe can be taken to help combat discrimination, and why do you believe that action would be effective? Essays should not exceed 550 words.

The deadline for all entries is 5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2023.

A portal for uploading entries—either as documents or images (PDF or jpeg)—is available at:

Beginning Jan. 9, submissions may be delivered to The Tribune-Democrat: 425 Locust St., Johnstown, 15907.

The winners will be announced and published in The Tribune-Democrat in late February.  In addition, posters and essays will be displayed throughout February at Bottle Works in the Cambria City section of Johnstown. Members of the community will be able to vote and help select the winners.   Mercedes Barnett will help judge the entries, along with hosting a reception for winners on Feb. 25 at Bottle Works.

“This Black History Month contest shows us what the students are learning throughout the year and gives us the opportunity to see what more we need to teach them regarding African American history,” Barnett said.  “Last year, the students’ crafts were so phenomenal it inspired the idea of an art exhibit. This year, the contest has potential to be bigger.  It is exciting, because every year the contest grows. Imagine what more we could add if the entire community became involved.”

The Black History Month contest is an initiative of the Ron Fisher African American History Educational Fund, The Tribune-Democrat and Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

Contest sponsorships are available CLICK HERE to email CFA Director of Donor Services Katrina Perkosky for information) and will help create opportunities for local students to learn and experience African American history. Those interested in supporting such initiatives also can make a secure, online donation to the fund by CLICKING HERE.


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