Barbara Johns Civil Rights Essay Contest

Barbara Johns Civil Rights Essay Contest

The Democratic Party of Virginia is excited to announce an essay contest in conjunction with our annual celebration of the life and legacy of Barbara Johns, who led a walkout of her tar-paper shack school building in 1951 to protest and draw attention to the inequality in education between African-American students and their white counterparts. Barbara became a significant figure in a lawsuit that would join the historic Brown v. Board decision.

Open to all high school students, the essay should be about a civil rights figure who has made an impression or impact on the student. Students are free to select a past or current civil rights leader from across the country whose work embodies the fight for equality and justice.

Two winners will be selected from the submissions and each winner will receive two tickets (value $300) to the 2019 Blue Commonwealth Gala, as well as having their essays published in our weekly e-newsletter, the Demo Memo, and on the Democratic Party of Virginia’s website.

Contest Details

Submission Deadline: May 15, 2019 at 5 PM

Essay Length: 500-1000 words

Essay Submission:


Please contact Nick Scott at (804) 335-0971 or