By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– To honor and recognize the achievements of individuals who have made contributions to advancing the civil rights of all people, Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) has provided a $1,750 sponsorship to support the City of Victorville’s 6th Annual Civil Rights Essay Contest for local elementary students.
The annual contest, kicking off this month, invites 5th and 6th grade students to write an essay about an American Civil Rights Leader and why he or she should be honored within Victorville’s Civil Rights Memorial. Based on the winning essay, a bronze plaque for the civil rights honoree will be added to the city’s memorial and will include an excerpt from the student’s essay.
The current memorial recognizes a diverse group of leaders including: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Asa Philip Randolph, Frederick Douglas, Cesar Chavez, Harriet Tubman, and Lucy Burns.
Essays will be read by the City of Victorville Community Service Advisory Committee, who will evaluate submissions based on content, expression, research, and originality.
In years past, the City of Victorville has hosted a recognition ceremony to honor the civil rights leader and the student at the city’s memorial on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year’s ceremony is currently scheduled for MLK Day 2021, pending COVID-19 restrictions.
“Our Civil Rights Essay contest is one of my favorite annual events,” said Victorville Mayor, Gloria Garcia. “With IEHP’s sponsorship, we’re able to continue our tradition of bringing families, students, and community leaders together to honor the work and courage of incredible civil rights leaders. While we may face obstacles and challenges due to COVID-19, this will not stop us from encouraging local youth to learn about those who have made a difference in our world.”
The City of Victorville has sent invitations to elementary schools within the City inviting students to submit entries through Sept. 2, and the winning essay will be announced in October. For more information, visit VictorvilleCA.gov/CivilRightsMemorial.
“We are so honored to be a part of something so thoughtful and inspiring,” said LuAnna Jáuregui, IEHP’s manager of community partnerships. “We are grateful that we have great cities in our region, like the City of Victorville, who take time to connect with students to honor the work of those who have truly made a difference in this world.”