About the Contest

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Since 2000, the Visions of Unity Contest has encouraged Torrance youth to reflect on their role in resolving critical community issues, to artistically express their unique ideas and ideals in a way that broadens minds and touches hearts, and to take initiative in enhancing unity among diverse groups within their community.

Share your vision of unity, to inspire your peers, see your work published, earn a cash award, and receive public honor among leaders, elected officials, and community. Open only to high school students in Torrance, California.

The Visions of Unity contest was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, whose birthday comes on or near the contest’s deadline every year. Now in its 18th year, the contest continues to engage youth, their families, community leaders, education providers, sponsors and donors in the power of artistic expression to cross cultural boundaries and forge new bonds as members of one human family, to explore ways individuals can work together to cultivate greater healing, harmony, and understanding within their communities.

Contest Categories

Literature: Poetry, Essay, and Short Story
Visual Arts: Drawing, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, and Computer Graphics


Enter the Contest

Read all the contest rules and guidelines to make sure your entry will be accepted. DEADLINE IS TUESDAY JANUARY 16, 2018.

The contest entry form is available at https://visionsofunity.com/enter-the-contest (or click the “Enter the Contest” link at the top of the page).

Literature entries must be submitted online. Each art contestant must attach a completed contest entry form to his/her art work, which will be picked up from your school by a Visions of Unity representative.

Students may submit no more than one entry in Literature and no more than one entry in Art. You can submit one each entry in each of those two categories.

 

Awards Celebration

All Literary contestants who place 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or Honorable Mention will orally present committee-selected excerpts from their works at the Monday, March 12, 2018 Visions of Unity Awards Celebration.

Their published work will appear in the annual Visions of Unity literary anthology.

Winning art entries will also be displayed in the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library showcase (if they fit on the 2′ high shelves).

Winners will also receive cash awards, thanks to the generosity of the sponsors below. In the last 16 years, more than 400 students have received awards and over $25,000 in cash prizes.

Partners and Donors

The Human Relations Forum of Torrance, along with community partners, seeks to celebrate diversity, promote education and understanding while cultivating a sense of belonging for the diverse population of Torrance.

Community partners include: Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Volunteer Center-South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach, Torrance Unified School District, League of Women Voters Torrance Area, and Palos Verdes Chapter LINKS, Inc.

Donors include: Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Jean Adelsman, Shirley Earlise Starke, Welch and Company Accountancy Corporation, Ruth Vogel, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Shirley and Chih-Ming Ho, Palos Verdes Chapter of The Links, Patricia Kromka, Mich De Lorme, Bahá’ís of Manhattan Beach, Janet Dean Baszile, Shirley Borks, Heidi and Dan Ashcraft, Teresa Langness, and Lea Ann King

Recognition for the winners by: Mayor and City Council of Torrance, Congressman Ted Lieu, State Senator Ben Allen, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, and LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn

 

Contest Coordinator: Lea Ann King
Student Reading-in-the-Round Editor: Teresa Langness
Prose Judges: Jean Adelsman, Kamy Akhavan, Julia Matthews
Poetry Judges: Sheila McMullin and Rachelle Yousuf
Art Judges: Heidi Ashcraft and Ashcraft Design
Torrance Unified School District Liaisons: Tammy Khan, Terry Ragins
Contest Technology Supervisor: Kamy Akhavan
Anthology Editors: Kamy Akhavan and Teresa Langness
Facilities/Torrance Memorial Medical Center Liaison: Shirley Ho
Refreshments: Palos Verdes Chapter Links, Inc.
Geissert Library Art Display: Patrice Lefevre
Fiscal Agent: Volunteer Center South Bay-Harbor- Volunteer Center South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach

Questions? Contact us at [email protected]

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