Senior claims inaugural Black History Month writing contest

Marietta College’s Brittany Waugaman ’16 (Buckhannon, W.Va.) won the inaugural Black History Month writing contest with her essay “A Handwoven Legacy.”

Waugaman said she entered the contest because she believes Marietta College has a responsibility to not only honor Black History Month, but to educate students about it as well.

“I wanted my essay to provide insight about what it means and how it feels to be a part of this long-standing and proud history,” she said. “I feel that many students on our campus have not had as many chances to learn about our racial past and future. It's crucial that students of any race have this information so they can make a positive difference on our campus and in our world.”

Throughout the month of February, Marietta College’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion put on several programs to celebrate Black History Month, including the writing contest that was sponsored in collaboration with the College’s Writing Center.

“I was very excited to partner with DeJuan Mitchell (Coordinator for Diversity, Inclusion and U.S. Student Services) on the first annual Black History Month Essay Contest because it was an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate voices, ideas, and truths that are often otherwise marginalized and silenced,” said Keira Hambrick, Marietta College’s Academic Support Coordinator.

Because the mission at the Writing Center is to help writers find and develop their voice, Hambrick believes the Center also maintains a responsibility to support and facilitate ways of making sure those voice can be heard.

“I think contests and events like this are a way for us to open dialogue about important issues and to work to build a more informed, thoughtful, and engaged community here at Marietta,” she said.

Brendan Adkinson ’16 (Bellevue, Ohio) and Cortez Wallace ’17 (Chicago, Illinois) placed second and third, respectively.