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UIL To Administer Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition

Media Contact: Stephanie Ramirez
Phone: 512-471-5883
Fax: 512-471-6589
Email:

Date: Sep 13, 2011
Category: General Information


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN, TX – The Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition has found a new home with the University Interscholastic League, the UIL announced Tuesday.

The Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition began in 1996 through the University of Texas at Austin to increase awareness of Texas African-American History.  Since its inception, the UT-Austin Division of Diversity and Community Engagement has overseen the competition.

The essay competition topic is open to all UIL member high school students, grades 9-12, and provides students the opportunity to document the rich and diverse contributions of a historically underrepresented group in Texas through original research. Students must develop an essay related to the competition's theme, "The African American in Texas: Past and Present."

Essays are judged in 10 geographic regions of Texas by regional teams, and then three regional winners are selected to compete in the state competition.

The top essays from each geographical region of the state will become part of a permanent historical archive located in the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

While the UIL will now be administering the essay contest, the rules and guidelines will remain the same and it will still be under the Division for Diversity and Community Engagement of the University of Texas at Austin.

 “The UIL is excited to be a part of a contest with such a rich history,” said UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt. “This provides the UIL with another opportunity to help the students of Texas learn about topics beyond the classroom and find out more about the history of our great state.  We look forward to fostering the Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition into the future.”

The winning essays receive scholarships, with first place earning $2,500, second place earning $1,500 and third place receiving $1,000 to be used at the college or university of their choice.  To date, the Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition has awarded more than $80,000 in college scholarships to Texas students. The essay competition started 15 years ago through the request from Gary Bledsoe, President of the State Chapter of the NAACP, with the goal of increasing awareness of Texas African-American History.

Information including rules, contest guidelines and how to enter will be available on the UIL website no later than October 1 at www.uiltexas.org.

The Barbara Jordan Historical Essay has most recently been under the direction of UT-Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement Gateway Program. The UIL operates as part of the University of Texas at Austin, under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement.

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