Lincoln Contest Focuses on Contemporary Slavery

Truman’s 2014 Lincoln Contest focuses on the topic of “Bus Ride to Justice” and the notion of slavery in today’s society.

Submissions for the contest are due by Feb. 28 and can be in art, essay or oratorical form.

For the art contest, entries should be submitted to Rusty Nelson in Ophelia Parrish 1221 and observe the following criteria: artwork of any media is acceptable, traditional or digital output/projection – two-dimensional and three-dimensional. No larger than 18 x 24” for two-dimensional work and three feet in the round for three-dimensional work. Projected work should be formatted for a 16:9 screen ratio. Winning art will be added to the Schwengel Lincoln Collection in Special Collections at Pickler Memorial Library. Art prizes for first and second places will be $200 and $100, respectively.

Essays and oratorical essays can be submitted to Barry Poyner in Barnett Hall 1110. The essays must observe the following criteria: 1,000-1,500 words, three to five page essay and provide a list of works cited as appropriate. On a cover sheet, provide contact information and clearly indicate if entering the essay or oratorical contest, or both.

Finalists in the oratorical contest will deliver their speeches before the National Communication Association Student Club later in the semester. Communication Club members will assist Poyner in judging. Essay and oratory prizes for first and second places will be $200 and $100, respectively.

The prompt for this year’s contest is as follows: “While it is true that institutional slavery was ended in the United States during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, civil rights for all Americans has been a long time coming. Fred Gray was only 24 years old when he defended Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Ala. According to this website,, worldwide estimates suggest that as many as 27 million people are now enslaved today! Taking Mr. Gray’s, Mrs. Parks’ and Dr. King’s example of civil disobedience as your inspiration, depict a contemporary violation of human rights and present your campaign for its abolition.”

Fred and Ethel Schwengel established the Lincoln Contests in art, essay and oratory to pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln. For more information, contact Poyner at
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