K Biennial Social Justice Prize Debuts in Spring; Apply Now

The first Kalamazoo College Global Prize for Collaborative Social Justice Leadership will be awarded the weekend of May 10-11 on the Kalamazoo College campus. Entries for the prizes are due by March 8. Jurors include human rights activist Angela Davis and Cary Alan Johnson, former executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

Two prizes will be awarded–a $25,000 Global Prize (for which regional entrants are also eligible) and a $5,000 Regional Prize that will go to projects/applicants based in the following Michigan counties: Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Allegan, Barry, Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon.

From all entries 20 finalists will come to campus to share their work and application video with Kalamazoo College students and the local social justice learning community. “We envision the competition as a ‘social justice TED’ sort of format,” said Jaime Grant, executive director of Kalamazoo College’s Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. “Applicants upload an 8-10 minute video onto our application site and fill out the one-page form there. No grant application!”

The accessible format will help uncover original grassroots thinking and practice in social justice collaboration around the globe. “We’re encouraging people to put out their breakthrough thinking and aspirations even if they don’t have a fully formed project,”explained Grant. “This competition should unearth possibility and show us new ways forward. We are equally excited to see ‘veteran’ works that demonstrate unsung and breathtaking outcomes.’’

“Prize weekend” will be a great opportunity for social justice learners. Throughout that weekend applicants will present their work in person, and K students, faculty, staff, and community members will discuss ground-breaking work with finalists in small break-out sessions.

Apply now! The deadline for entries is March 8.