Every year on January 27th, the world takes a moment to observe International Holocaust Memorial Day. Not only is this day a moment to learn from the mistakes of the past, but it’s also a moment to take a look at the present moment and recognize which actions must be taken to ensure a safer and better future. One voice from the past who reminds us to take a look at the present is Anne Frank. An extraordinary young Jewish girl, Anne kept a diary while she was in hiding with her family during World War II. In her diary, Anne wrote,
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Those words ring true for us today. We have the ability to make this world a better place for each and every person, if we only take a moment to recognize the potential for goodness that every day holds.
Another person from the past, who encouraged us to make the most of the present, was St. Ignatius in his pursuit of the “magis.” As students and members of the Ignatian family, we are invited to join St. Ignatius in his search for the magis, to bring more into this world. That’s why the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is inviting students from Jesuits schools across the globe to participate in our Anne Frank Essay and Video Competition.
Two years ago, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA received the Anne Frank Award, given by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, for our work which confronts intolerance and advocates on behalf of those on the margins, specifically refugees and migrants. As a way to share that honor with the greater Ignatian community, JRS/USA created the essay and video competition with the hope that young people would share their voice, like Anne, and express their plans and dreams for a better future.
Anne Frank Essay and Video Competition Guidelines.-
When ignorance, fear, and hate lead to actions of violence against those of different religious, racial, social, and political identities, what can young people do today to foster a culture of inclusion? What clear steps can be taken to welcome the refugee in your home community?
Students enrolled in any member of the Jesuit Schools Network (Grades 9-12) and/or Educate Magis are encouraged to submit an essay or video answering the question posed above. The top essay and video chosen will be posted online by America: The Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture. As the flagship magazine of America Media, America is the leading Catholic journal of opinion in the United States.
Word Limit: 1,500 words (essay); 2 minutes (video)
Submission Details and deadlines:
Essays and videos will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, March 15, 2019 and must be submitted via JRS/USA Google Form found at www.jrsusa.org/annefrank. Videos should be submitted with an unlisted YouTube link. Submissions will be reviewed by a committee including staff from Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Jesuit Schools Network, and America Media.
Awards underwritten by the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States
1st Place Essay – $500 monetary prize & essay will be shared online by America
1st Place Video – $500 monetary prize & video will be shared online by America
Winners will be announced on May 1, 2019, in conjunction with Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust.