HR Day Essay Contest 2021

2021 Human Rights Day Essay Contest

Human Rights Day is observed around the world on December 10 each year, the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This document was the first global articulation of human rights. It has helped people all over the world to learn about their rights as human beings. Special events, including the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize, are often held on this day, lifting up matters of human rights. The Essay Contest is an opportunity to raise awareness about the Declaration, about human rights, and especially for students to express their thoughts and feelings in writing on important humanitarian topics.


Contest Theme for 2021: Living Together Without Discrimination

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights emphasizes that everyone is entitled to rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, gender, language, disability, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, income, birth or other status.
   Essays may explore any aspect of discrimination. Students have a strong sense of what’s fair and unfair. Their thoughts and actions, big and small, toward diversity, equity, and inclusion will make a better world.  

Essay Rules

  • The contest is open to 7th and 8th graders in Sioux Falls area schools through their Language Arts classes (or Social Studies in Brandon).
  • Essays should be typed, double spaced, with no more than 250 words.
  • A cover page for each essay should include the essay title, student name, grade, school, teacher, and parents’ contact information.  No student name or school should appear on the essay itself.
  • Teachers will select a limited number of essays to submit for the judging by Nov.18.
  • An independent panel of judges, whose decisions are final, will judge essays based on good form and passion and insight expressed.
  • Prizes: Overall, each grade will have a $100 First Place and two $75 Runner-Up winners.

To contact contest organizers Cathy Brechtelsbauer or Susan Torres,                please fill out the contact form below.

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Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors of this event:

Bread for the World-SD, Sioux Falls Multi-Cultural Center, EmBe Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Area Retired Teachers Association, Sioux Falls Rotary South, Sioux Falls Daybreak Kiwanis Club, Sioux Valley Optimist Club, Augustana University Education Department, Dakota Fabrication, Sioux Falls League of Women Voters, Soroptimist International of Sioux Falls, UN Club of Sioux Falls and Refugee Congress, Daughters of the American Revolution -Mary Chilton Chapter, Brandon Valley Optimist Club, and the Contest Steering Committee in memory of long-time middle school teacher Barbara Iverson, who helped to start this project.