In order to increase awareness and promote understanding in the arenas of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and gender-identity, TEAM Westport and The Westport Library are co-sponsoring the Ninth Annual Teen Diversity Essay Contest for students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 who attend Staples High School or another school in Westport, or reside in Westport and attend school elsewhere. Last year’s TEAM Westport contest focused on stereotypes. Last year’s TEAM Westport contest focused on “Black Lives Matter”.

This year’s challenge asks you to focus on “Why It Can Be So Difficult To Talk About Race”. 2022 Essay Challenge Prompt “Why can it be so difficult to talk about race? Trevor Noah, award winning comedian, writer, and television host from South Africa, says, '... the first thing we have to do in any conversation is figure out what the words mean in the conversation that we’re having.' In 1000 words or fewer, describe what you would like to explain to people in your community who avoid or struggle with talking about race or acknowledging systemic racism or who apply a "colorblind" approach to issues.”

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