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Meaningful scholarship opportunity for 9th-12th grade students in Auburn, Opelika, and Lee County public high schools as well as 2022 graduates of public schools. 

All 9th-12th grade students of Auburn, Opelika, and Lee County public high schools in addition to 2022 graduates are eligible to submit an essay. Students are asked to examine the history of a specific racial injustice topic as well as its legacy today. Examples of topics include the creation of Lee County, racial terror lynchings in Lee County, the desegregation of Lee County City Schools, and more. Cash prizes will be awarded to all winners thanks to our partnership with NAACP Lee County AL Branch #5038.


Winners will be announced at the Day of Remembrance Ceremony on Saturday Nov. 5th 2022, 10a, on the Lee County Courthouse Square.


Local History Panel Discussion

Ms. Selena Daniels, Mr. Wilbert Payne, Jr., Ms. Jean Madden and Mr. John Harris

To assist students research and understanding of local Lee County (and American) history, four Lee County residents shared their stories and experiences while growing up during integration in Lee County and advice they have for students today.


Click here to view highlights from this video.

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Reference Coordinator, Courtney Pinkard

Learn how to: 

  • Search the ADAH online catalogs to identify digitized documents, photographs and records for your topic area

  • Explore the ADAH Youtube channels to learn more about your research theme and topic


Research to Preserve African American Stories and Traditions 

Coordinator, Dr. Rob Bubb

Learn about: 

  • rPAAST's mission, research and research process 

  • How to search for digitized newspaper articles on and explore geneology sites like ancestry and family tree



Our inaugural racial justice essay contest drew many inspiring submissions! We are grateful for every student who invested their time to research and more fully understand vitally important issues of racial justice. 8 essays were chosen as our 2021 award winners:

1st Place

Mary Ellen Lancaster

2nd Place

Caderria Thomas


3rd Place

Braxton Harris


4th Place

Jireh Ray


5th Place

Jahunna Neston


Honorable Mentions

Clara Ragan

Dayzjah Walton

Miles Hunt

2021 Essay Winners.jpg
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