Winners announced in inaugural Elon Law essay contest

Emmanuel Agyemang-Dua L’22, Ataesheeana Storr L’21 and Reyona Hammond L’21 were honored in a Black History Month competition that prompted students to reflect on what roles as future lawyers they have in the movement for equality and Black lives.

Three students have been honored for their reflections on a famous book by an influential civil rights activist in a writing contest co-sponsored by Elon Law’s Antiracism Working Group and Elon University’s Center for Writing Excellence.

The inaugural “Fire This Time” Black History Month Essay Competition asked students to reflect on the current antiracism movement, how Black people will be impacted, and what role they as future lawyers play in the movement. The competition theme was based on James Baldwin’s work, “The Fire Next Time”, and Angela Onwuachi-Willig’s 2020 column “The Fire This Time.”

The essay also tasked students with evaluating whether the legal system is equipped to meet the demands of movement activists.

Organizers received several submissions, which varied from reflective letters to personal essays to poems.


“Thank you to each of our writers for entering the competition and crafting such powerful, evocative essays,” Assistant Professor Tiffany Atkins L’11, who organized the competition, said to students in announcing the results in a message to the Elon Law community. “We enjoyed them tremendously. Keep writing and inspiring the ‘fire next time.’”


  • Julia Bleakney, Director, Writing Center and Assistant Professor of English, Elon University
  • Olympia Duhart, Associate Dean and Professor of Law, NSU Florida Shepard Broad College of Law
  • Janet Keefer, Writing Specialist, Elon Law
  • Paula Rosinski, Director, Writing Across the University and Professor of English, Elon University
  • Robert E. Randolph, Jr., Lecturer in Black Feminist and Queer Rhetoric, American University