America has long aspired to be a melting pot, blending together nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities. Recent weeks have shined a bright light on cracks in our pot, pointing to the work yet to be done. Millions at home and around the globe are taking to the streets and calling on local, state, and federal authorities to take real actions to ensure all citizens are treated equally and without race-driven hatred and discrimination.

How can we now move things forward? How can we take our complex feelings of frustration, anger and hopelessness and turn them into actions that result in positive change?

The Rick Mahorn Big Man Camp wants to challenge students to help bring about the kind of change desperately needed to heal our country.

Imagine a basketball team where each player on the court decides to run his or her own play unbeknownst to his/her teammates. There would be no harmony and they'd never win a game. Now imagine that you are the coach of Team America. What actions do you believe are needed for our country to come together to play as a united team?

What action do you believe is the best way for people in your community to combat racism and help us summon what President Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature?"

If you are a middle school, high school, or college student, you are invited to submit your action proposals. Winning entries will receive both a cash prize (see below) and a grant to implement your idea.

Contest rules and procedures

1. The contest is open to each of the following three groups:
Group A: Students 14 years and younger
Group B: Students 15 -18
Group C: College students or others to age 23

2. Your essay should describe your idea for a program in your community that can improve relations between groups and help combat racism or any other form of hateful discrimination shown toward a particular group in our society. It should include:
a) how you came up with this idea (based on things you have noticed or read),
b) how your proposal would work,
c) why you think this can help bring change,
d) who would be involved, and
e) a time framework for evaluating its effectiveness.

3. While it is not a requirement, essays incorporating the world of sports are particularly welcomed.

4. Essays should be submitted in word document form to info@bigman.camp no later than August 1, 2020.

5.Before sending essays to our judging panel, we may ask you to revise your essay if it is felt that some details need to be elaborated upon.

6. Essay prizes awarded by judges will be given as follows:
Group A: One or more winning entrants will receive a $350 personal grant as well as a $500 stipend to be used to implement the proposal presented
Groups B and C: One or more winning entrants will receive a $750 personal grant as well as a $750 stipend to be used to implement the proposal presented

7. The amount of the stipend may be increased upon the decision of the contest organizers. The organizers also reserve the right to decline to make an award in any group if no submission merits consideration.

8. Two students may submit an essay jointly and split the prize

9. All essays will become the property of the Rick Mahorn Big Man Camp and The Spirit of the Game, Inc and may be published.

For more information, contact info@bigman.camp