Two local middle school students were honored Tuesday for their entries to an annual essay contest organized by Elon University’s Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education.
Two young minds from Guilford County were named the winners this month of Elon University’s 2016 MLK Commemorative Essay Contest, an annual competition for middle school students in Guilford and Alamance counties.
Cooper White, a seventh grade student at Northeast Guilford Middle School, and Brock Neorr, a sixth grader from Brown Summit Middle School, were both honored on Jan. 19, 2016, for writing about ways to address social injustices and combat racism. One award is annually given to a student in each grade level.
The Office of Student Activities sponsored the special noontime College Coffee in McKinnon Hall where both MLK Commemorative Essay Contest winners were announced. The contest, which received dozens of submissions, was judged by current Elon Teaching Fellows.
White, who lives in Burlington, North Carolina, and attends Northeast Guilford Middle School because of his parents’ careers with Guilford County Schools, said he learned about the contest from a teacher.
White recommended that police forces do a better job of ensuring the tickets they issue reflect the demographic makeup of their communities, and that officers attend additional diversity training.
“I thought it was a good topic,” White said after reading his essay from a College Coffee podium. “I believe everyone should be equal and there should be no racial injustice in our community.”
Neorr was unable to visit campus for his award. Jamie Butler, assistant director for the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education, read excerpts from Neorr’s essay in his absence.
The essay contest was part of a larger series of events this month to honor King. January’s 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Beloved Community Celebration was organized by the Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education, Elon Teaching Fellows, the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, the Office of Student Activities, and the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.