Anti-Racism International Youth Writing Contest 2022

Racism is too often presented as isolated segments of history that were successfully challenged to make way for multiculturalism today. It fails to acknowledge the legacy of discriminatory policies that continues to impact many racialized communities. Through the pandemic, the magnification of systemic racism has resulted in the death and displacement of many marginalized groups globally.

The effects of racism have been particularly pronounced in student communities who endure precarious work conditions, institutional racism, and the dissolution of their community networks through the pandemic. Academic institutions have revealed the lack of capacity or willingness to address the social and emotional needs of youth.

In response to the systematic disenfranchisement of youth, the Anti-Racism International Youth Writing Contest is designed to offer students the opportunity to define and lead conversations about racism, at a personal and political level. This is a youth-led competition for youth, open to anyone aged 14 to 21 across the world, regardless of background and nationality.

“We have always lived in a pandemic of racism.”

Submit a piece of written work about your reflections on the given quote. We are interested in hearing your story and unique perspective about the topic; the use of personal narratives to inform your writing is highly encouraged.

Submission: All essays are to be submitted through this form by 22 July 2022 at 11:59 pm EST. Winners will be announced in October 2022.


  • Cash prize: (1st place) 1000CAD, (2nd place) 500CAD, (3rd place) 200CAD
  • All winners will be invited to a public event to speak about their essays/topic, hosted by the Asian Insitute
  • Top responses will be published in the UofT’s Synergy undergraduate journal

How are winners determined?

All eligible entries will be assessed by the 2022 Anti-Racism International Youth Writing Contest screening team, from which the top five entries will be ranked by the panel of five finalist judges to select the final three winners. All entries will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance: the extent to which the essay addresses the quote/topic
  • Creativity and originality
  • Clarity and depth of writing
  • Writing accuracy and style (punctuation, grammar, spelling)

*All contest results are final and up to the discretion of the contest’s organizer.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be aged 14-21 years old (as of January 1st, 2022).
  • The essay must be the sole original work of the applicant, only one entry will be accepted per applicant. Essays must not have been previously published in any form.
  • The essay must address the quote given.
  • The essay must be in English, in 12-point font, and must not exceed 1000 words (strict requirement; please indicate word count at the end of the essay). Include the title of your essay on all pages of your document submission.
  • Do not indicate your name/or any identifying information in the document. All submissions are reviewed through double-blinding.

*The contest is free to all interested applicants meeting the age requirement, regardless of nationality and background.


  • The winners will be contacted by email on the announcement date.
  • Winners have 5 business days from the date of notification to accept the nomination and prize; the 2022 Anti-Racism International Youth Writing Contest Organizing Team shall not be liable for late/lost/unsuccessful efforts to notify the winners.
  • If a potential winner does not comply with the rules listed, the 2022 Anti-Racism International Youth Writing Contest Organizing Team reserves the right to void any unresponsive entry and select another eligible entrant for the prize; the 2022 Anti-Racism International Youth Writing Contest Organizing Team shall be fully and completely released and discharged from any liability or responsibility in this regard.

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