Intersectional Social Justice Essay Awards

The Intersectional Social Justice English Essay Prizes are awarded to students whose essays explore how working toward social justice involves identifying the intersection of various identities and forms of oppression embedded in many narratives and discourses. Three prizes will be awarded annually to the best first-year, second/third-year, and fourth-year essays written as part of English classes that fit with the theme of the contest. The awards committee will in some cases endeavor to find publication opportunities for the essays, such as on the university’s website and within the library’s collection, thereby aiming to promote reflection and discussion of intersectionality in the community at large.

Essays must meet the following criteria:

  • Essays should offer a well-written treatment of a topic that addresses intersectional social justice, broadly interpreted, in a meaningful way.

  • Essays or projects critiquing and analyzing literary and visual texts from an intersectional social justice perspective as well as persuasive research papers, including research-informed personal narratives, will be accepted.

  • Submissions should be at least 1000 words in length (or at least 500 words if accompanied by a creative project).

  • Essays written as part of English classes during the Summer 2023, Fall 2023, and Spring 2024 semesters may be self-nominated by students in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year classes, or nominated by instructors. Instructor nominated essays must be submitted with a permission form completed by the student and nominating instructor.

Nomination Deadline: For the Summer 2023-Spring 2024 contest, instructors or 2nd/3rd/4th year self-nominating students should submit nominated essays by May 3, 2024 to