In its eleventh consecutive year in 2019, the Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship is an opportunity to hear from young Oregonians on some of the most pressing issues of our time. We sponsor this annual writing scholarship in order to encourage Oregon’s youth to consider their leadership role in promoting a more healthy, just, and peaceful world.
The 2019 question for Oregon 11th and 12th grade students is:
“How can you work against systemic racism to help make our world more healthy and peaceful?”
Entries must be received by Monday, March 4th, 2019. Entries may be essays, poems, or narrative works, and must not exceed 600 words.
Racism is more than just interpersonal acts of bias, discrimination, or exclusion. Racism is systematic and institutional. It consists of policies and practices that are supported by those in power and benefit some and disadvantage others. Scientific studies show that racism is related to health problems for individuals and for our society as a whole. Racism has been linked to problems such as:
- Chronic stress from discrimination and racial microaggressions (the everyday slights, indignities, put-downs and insults that people of color experience in their day-to-day interactions because of their race)
- People having less access to quality health resources
- Conflict and violence, both between individuals, cultures, and countries
- Mass incarceration
- Gun violence
- Housing segregation
The good news is that throughout history, young people have taken action to address social problems like racism. This writing scholarship is your opportunity to think about what part you can play in making our world more healthy and peaceful by working against systemic racism.
Here are some resources you can check out to get started thinking about this question:
- Race, Racism and Health: Examining the Connections Between Race, Racism, and Health in the United States
- What’s the Connection Between Residential Segregation and Health?
- Why Discrimination Is a Health Issue
- Racism Is Literally Bad For Your Health
- Scientists Start To Tease Out The Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health
- Racism and Health
- How Mass Incarceration Harms US Health, in 5 Charts
- Exploring Racial Bias
- 10 Ways Youth Can Engage in Activism