Dauphin County Commissioners announce details of 13th annual diversity essay contest for students

HARRISBURG, PA (March 10, 2020) – As part of an ongoing effort to promote diversity, Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III are holding their 13th annual Cultural Diversity Essay Contest for students from age 6 to 18 in Dauphin County. 

The contest, which began in 2007, was created to actively engage children in thinking about cultural diversity.

“We offer this essay contest every year to encourage children to think critically about diversity and inspire others,” said Hartwick, who has oversight of the county’s Cultural Celebration Task Force, which coordinates the contest.

The essay contest age categories, questions and prizes are as follows:

•             Age 6 – 10: Describe a yearly diversity celebration in the United States and explain the importance of such a celebration - for example, Hispanic Heritage Celebration, Black History Month, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 75 to 150 words, first place wins $60; second place $30, and third place $25

•             Age 11 – 14: If you were to select a national hero who promoted diversity inclusion and equality rights to become a national holiday celebration, who would it be and why?  150 to 250 words, first place wins $100; second place $50, and third place $40

•             Age 15 – 18How can you get your school, including school administration and teachers, on board with diversity and inclusion initiatives?  250 to 500 words, first place wins $140; second place $65, and third place $40

Essays must be submitted no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.  All entries should include the child’s name, school, grade, age, home address, home phone number and word count on a separate piece of paper.  Essays should be mailed or delivered to the Dauphin County Administration Building, Attn: Faye Fisher, Department of Human Resources, 2 S. Second St., 5th floor, Harrisburg, PA  17101.

“We continue to make diversity a priority,” said Haste. “This program is one more way we’re engaging youth and celebrating diversity in our community.”

The commissioners will announce the winners from each category at a public meeting this summer, prior to the annual Cultural Fest, a free street festival in downtown Harrisburg on Friday, Aug. 7.

“It’s always great to see so many young people participate in the program and share their thoughts on diversity,” said Pries. “We look forward to reading the essays this year.”

For more information about the contest, please call 717-780-6230 or visit www.DauphinCounty.org