Students honored in second annual Elon Law essay competition

Brittany Willis L’22, Cassandra Saxton L’23, and Elliott Millner L’23 were recognized for entries in a Black History Month contest that challenged participants to reflect on their roles as students and future lawyers in the antiracism movement.

Three students have been honored in an annual essay competition co-sponsored by Elon Law’s Antiracism Working Group and Elon University’s Center for Writing Excellence.

The second annual “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 again this year on James Baldwin’s work, “The Fire Next Time”, and Angela Onwuachi-Willig’s 2020 column “The Fire This Time.”

“I am thrilled to see our students continuing to connect with the themes in Baldwin’s work, as well as Dean Onwuachi-Willig’s call to use the law as a tool of change,” said Assistant Professor Tiffany Atkins L’11, a faculty member in Elon Law’s Legal Method & Communication Program and the competition’s organizer. “This year’s winners responded to the call via personal reflective letters, which our judges found both ‘powerful’ and ‘moving.’

“I am deeply proud of all our entrants and hope students will continue to see writing as a powerful tool of social change—one that they will use to inspire the ‘fire this time.’”



  • Renee Allen, Assistant Professor of Law, St. John’s University School of Law
  • Julia Bleakney, Director, Writing Center and Assistant Professor of English, Elon University
  • Janet Keefer, Writing Specialist, Elon Law
  • Robert E. Randolph, Jr., Director, Shaw University Writing Center, formerly, Lecturer in Black feminist and queer rhetoric, American University
  • Paula Rosinski, Director, Writing Across the University and Professor of English, Elon University

Selection Committee

  • Stacie Dooley, Assistant Dean for Career & Student Development
  • Catherine Dunham, Professor of Law, Elon Law
  • Patricia Perkins, Assistant Professor of Law, Elon Law
  • Srikanth Reddy, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Elon Law