COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
February 6, 2015
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Selma Speech and Essay Contest was inspired by the release of the dramatic film Selma. The purpose of the contest is to engage high school students in thinking, writing, and speaking about relevant, current issues of individual freedom and self-determination in our country today. As 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the Selma march and signing into law of the Voting Rights Act, the Selma Speech and Essay contest aims to inspire students to think about and appreciate their Constitutional rights, our freedoms, and how contributing to our democracy is the responsibility of all United States citizens.
The Selma Speech and Essay contest is open to high school students ages 14-18, as of the February 15 deadline, who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school, or home study program in the United States and its territories.