Essay and Art Competition for Students, Grades 6-12: Civil Rights, Black Lives, and your South Asian Identity


Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR) and Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) announce an Essay and Art Contest for South Asian-American students in Grades 6-12 to connect their identities with the historical and contemporary movements for civil and human rights.

The topic of the contest is: “Civil Rights, Black Lives, and your South Asian Identity”

The purpose of the contest is to promote dialogue within the South Asian-American community–including the Indo-Caribbean community–about how much we have benefited from the civil rights and voting rights struggles of the ’60s; and about how we can contribute meaningfully to the ongoing quest for social justice in America and elsewhere.

Some of the suggested areas for consideration are: How are we benefiting from the efforts of those who fight for such rights? What does non-violence as a core principle of such struggles mean to us? How does our cultural or religious upbringing affect our engagement with the challenges of our present moment for social justice and human dignity? How does our identity intersect or conflict with contemporary civil and human rights issues: e.g. anti-black racism and the Black Lives movements, casteism, Islamophobia, LGBTQ+ communities and gender injustice, gun violence, economic disparities, etc.?

The contest is open until February 28, 2021, and will be judged by a distinguished panel of jurors with academic, art, and human rights backgrounds. The winners in each age group category will win a cash prize of $1,000 and the runner-up will receive $500.

Essays should be 700-1000 words. Artwork should be 8 ½ x 11 inch or 11 x 17 inch format. Pls submit a high-resolution photograph of your artwork.

The Registration Form for the contest may be found at:

The Submission Form for the contest may be found at:

Detailed Contest Rules and the names of jurors may be found at:

For further details, please write to