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The Tribune-Democrat, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, and the Ron Fisher African American History Educational Fund annually present 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 top 3 winners in each contest. The Tribune-Democrat will again publish the works online and in print.

The categories vary by age group and are as follows:

  • Elementary School Drawings – draw a Famous African-American figure who makes a difference in current times. Posters should be no larger than 24 inches by 36 inches.
  • Middle School Essay/Posters or Media – What is one of the most important inventions that an African-American created? Try to depict why it is important to you or your community. Posters, short films, and multimedia presentations are permitted. Posters should be no larger than 24 inches by 36 inches.
  • High School Essay – Consider the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Why is it important to treat people equally and what does that mean to you? Essays should not exceed 550 words.

The deadline for all entries is 5 p.m. Jan. 26, 2024. A portal for uploading entries—either as documents or images (PDF or jpeg)—is available at: Submissions may also be delivered to The Tribune-Democrat, 425 Locust St., Johnstown, 15907.

The winners will be announced and their entries will be published in The Tribune-Democrat in mid-February. In addition, posters and essays will be displayed throughout February at Bottle Works in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.  A reception to host the winners will be held at the Bottle Works on February 24th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

“I always hope that they learn something new,” said Alexis Fisher, the late Ron Fisher’s sister. “The goal is to make sure that they know they have a voice and that they can share their opinions on certain topics that can sometimes be difficult.”

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

The Ron Fisher African American History Education Fund was created to support opportunities for local students to learn and experience African American history first-hand, including supporting scholarship awards for post-secondary education.

To donate to the fund, click here.

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