Racism in the U.S. has been a major issue that Americans have been fighting for centuries, since long before the Martin Luther King, Jr. era. There have been many efforts carried out to address the problem.
The latest of these is a welcome and refreshing twist on the decades-long conversation, inviting the younger generation to share what it means to be in school in the U.S. today. Organized by the Starz channel in promotion of their series of the same name, the ‘’America to me,’’ contest is aimed at creating a new beginning in the lives of young people, and strengthening the bond among different people from all walks of life.
The initiative was centered around a spoken word contest. All the participants were competing for the opportunity to win a scholarship worth $25,000. All they had to do was to share their story through spoken word. What they shared was intended to vividly bring out what America means to them and how to destroy the vice of racism.
The participants were to be between 14 to 19 years of age. They would each be given one minute to able to describe their experience of America, and what it has been like to grow up and attend school in the United States. To enter the competition, they were required to record the spoken word video, and then upload it either through the platforms of Twitter or Instagram, or by uploading the video to www.AmericaToMe.com.
The judges were able to select only five of the best entries that they found to be the most moving. The five chosen were then posted on their website for the public to vote and chose their winner, who ended up being William Wilson. Wilson was then awarded the scholarship on 28th of October.
Why this is Important
In this new generation, there has been an explosion of creativity and art. All these are channels to convey a message which collectively leaves a visible mark. Spoken word is one of the most powerful forms of art and communication, which has taken this generation by storm. That is why the competition’s organizers opted to use spoken word as a means of speaking out about racism.
The contest was administrated by CFA, which ensured that the students were given an opportunity to encourage each other and share their voices. The students shared how it felt to belong to the American education system.
The Different Perspectives
Hundreds of students competed for the scholarship. Out of the hundreds of spoken word videos posted, many had lots of helpful information. All the videos had different perspectives and experiences of racism, but all pointed to one goal – how to end it.
It feels great and inspiring when people come together to stop something that has been disturbing them for years. Many thanks go to all the administrators who came up with this idea on how to encourage and empower our future leaders.
To see other recent programs carried out in collaboration with CFA, click here.