Reflect & Empower: What Black Lives Matter Means to Me
Reflective Writing/Multimedia Contest
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a powerful social movement impacting the lives of many Americans and should be of interest to all. As part of an academic undertaking to better understand and document the depth and breadth of the movement and its impact on CCSU students, we are inviting all matriculated undergraduate students to participate in an exercise to express their personal connection to the Black Lives Matter Movement and the issues it has brought to the forefront. We invite and encourage all students of different backgrounds and walks of life to participate in this contest, as this movement is one that exposes issues affecting every community within the larger society. Consider one or more of these questions: What do these issues and your experiences related to this movement mean to you? How has this movement affected you and those you hold close, as well as your perspective on American society and your expectations for the future? Where do you envision this movement will take us as a country?
We are interested in your message to others, your depth of thought, your personal reflections, the sensitivities involved, your personal experiences and your views of the movement's broad social impact and your expectations for the future of the movement. All submissions must be an original work. However, submissions will not be judged on traditional literary or grammatical standards.
All matriculated undergraduates are eligible to participate and are limited to one submission each. Award must be applied to the student’s current tuition account or account for the following semester. Seniors can apply scholarships to upcoming CCSU graduate tuition bills. In order for a Senior to receive a scholarship, she/he must have an unpaid balance on their tuition bill for the 2020-21 academic year, and/or will be matriculated at CCSU for the 2021 Summer or Fall session or will be matriculated in the Graduate program at CCSU for the Fall 2021 semester.
Types of Submissions Accepted:
- Purely Written Essays – 500 to 750 words in length. These can be essays, personal stories, poems, etc.
- Multimedia Submissions – All submissions must be an original work of some sort. Written portions should include information about your piece and
how it relates to your experiences.
- A visual arts component (drawing, artwork, photos) must be accompanied by an essay of 100-300 words.
- A video/film component should be three to five minutes in length and be accompanied by an essay of 100- 300 words.
- A musical composition of between three and five minutes must be accompanied by an essay of 100-300 words.
Contest start date: February 1st, 2021
Submission deadline: March 1st, 2021
Evaluation deadline: April 1st, 2021
Recipients are notified: April 1-8th, 2021
Award ceremony/WebEx meeting: Early to Mid-April (To be Announced)
Maximum Number of Scholarships to be Awarded:
20 – $250 scholarships
12 – $500 scholarships
4 – $1,000 scholarships
Totaling $15,000 – 36 awards
Process for Judging Submissions:
Panels of judges composed of faculty, administrators, alumni and community representatives will review submissions and select winners. Awards will include no less than two students from each class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior).
During evaluation, the anonymity of the student will be maintained, ensuring fair judgment of the submissions. A designated CPPSR staff member will remove personal information from your submission before it is presented to the panel of judges.
All submissions will be evaluated on the basis of the attached rubric and include technical compliance, the level of reader engagement, depth of the author's reflection, and extent of personal perspective and life impact expressed in the submission.
- All content, including written, visual, and musical must be original
- Submission should include:
- A cover page with the following information:
- Name and Student ID #
- Number of completed credits as of Fall 2020 semester (to determine class)
- Title of the submission
- Anticipated graduation date
- Your original work
- A cover page with the following information:
- Files must be submitted in the following formats to be accepted:
- Music – mp3/MPEG-3
- Video – mp4/ MPEG-4
- Photo/Visual – jpg/PDF
- Written – PDF
- Name of the file(s) submitted should be the title of the work
- Email submissions to CPPSR@ccsu.edu (After which you will receive a confirmation email)
NOTE: All submissions must be produced and submitted by only one student, as awards may not be split among more than one recipient.
Submissions will not be judged on traditional literary or grammatical standards. We are more interested in your personal stories, perspectives and reflections on the movement.
Meets essay word limit, or length requirements for video or musical submissions.
Student stayed within the required word and time limitations.
Student substantially met required essay length, video length or musical composition
Student moderately met required essay length, video length or musical composition
Student minimally met required essay length, video length or musical composition length.
Captivates and engages the reader
The reflection engages the readers. It was interesting and captivating from start
The reflection is moderately engaging. There were interesting and captivating parts.
The reflection is slightly engaging but could have been developed further.
The reflection did not engage and captivate the reader.
Depth of reflection
Response demonstrates an in-depth reflection of the topic. The student has deeply
expressed their beliefs and has acknowledged any recent developments in their views
about the topic.
Response demonstrates a moderate level of reflection. The paper shows the student
has adequately expressed their beliefs on this topic.
Response demonstrates a limited level of in-depth reflection.
Response lacks appropriate level of reflection. Viewpoints and interpretations are
missing or inappropriate.
Personal perspectives and life impact
The student’s unique perspective is very evident. They showed a very strong personal
impact, or affect, on his or her life, illustrating/stating strong connections to
real life experiences.
The student’s unique perspective is moderately evident. The writer demonstrates a
high level of personal impact or effect on his or her life, illustrating/stating connections
to real life experiences.
The student’s unique perspective is somewhat evident. The writer showed limited personal
impact or effect on his or her life, illustrating/stating little connection to real
The student’s unique perspective is limited. The writer showed little personal impact
or effect on his or her life. Student illustrated/stated no connection to real life