THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this year’s contest and CONGRATULATIONS to the 2024 winners!


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 society.

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 24th 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. The Visions of Unity contest is open only to students attending the high schools in Torrance, California.

The contest entry form is available at (or click the “Enter the Contest” link at the top of the page).

Literature entries must be submitted online. The deadline will be announced before Dec. 2024.

Art entries must be dropped in your principal’s office on or by Tuesday February 6 with the entry form printed and attached. Those entries will be picked up Wednesday February 7.

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

Awards Celebration

All Literary contestants who place 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or Honorable Mention normally give verbal presentations of their works at the Visions of Unity Awards Celebration. This celebration is attended by students, parents, local elected officials, TUSD administrators, and community members who support the mission and students of Visions of Unity.

The Visions of Unity Awards Celebration will take place on [Date TBD] 2024 at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center Health Conference Center. Attendance is strongly encouraged for winners to receive their prize checks. The reception with refreshments starts at 6:30pm. The ceremony begins promptly at 7:00pm.

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. Over the last 24 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 of Torrance Area, and Palos Verdes Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Donors include:
Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn
Congressman Ted Lieu and TUSD Board Member Betty Lieu
City of Torrance Cultural Arts Commission
Janet Baszile
Jean Adelsman
Ruth Vogel
Shirley E. Starke Wallace
Welch and Company Accountancy Corporation
Patricia Kromka
Palos Verdes Chapter of the Links, Inc.
Torrance Memorial Medical Center
Shirley and Chih-Ming Ho
Bahá’ís of Manhattan Beach
Patrice Lefevre
Kamy Akhavan
Heidi and Dan Ashcraft
Lea Ann King

Recognition for the winners by:
Mayor and City Council of Torrance
US Congressman Ted Lieu
CA State Senator Ben Allen
CA Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi

Contest Coordinator: Lea Ann King
Student Reading-in-the-Round Chief Editor: Teresa Langness
Prose Judges: Jean Adelsman, Kamy Akhavan, Darren Elms
Poetry Judges: Sheila McMullin, Camron Berga, and Alene Terzian-Zeitounian
Art Judges: Heidi Ashcraft and Ashcraft Design
Torrance Unified School District Liaison: Betty Lieu
Contest Technology Supervisor: Kamy Akhavan
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-Long BeachQuestions? Contact us at [email protected]

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