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The Sankofa Undergraduate Essay Competition

All undergraduate papers accepted for the conference that meet the standards established by the committee will be included in the paper competition. Students with the best papers will receive the following prizes:

  • $500 1st Undergraduate Student Paper
  • $250 2nd Undergraduate Student Paper
  • $100 3rd Undergraduate Student Paper

The essay prompt reads as follows:

The field of Black Studies has grown in the fifty years since the establishment of the Africana Studies Program at the University of New Mexico. There are many challenges and opportunities in Black Studies. In 1,500 to 2,000 words, describe the future of Black Studies. What are the current challenges? What are the opportunities? How do you envision the discipline moving forward?

The criteria for evaluation will be based on the following:

  1. Critical Relevance to the Prompt, Interpretation, and Analysis of Academic Sources;
  2. Originality of Ideas;
  3. Clarity of Presentation;
  4. Afrocentricism of Discourse;
  5. Creativity.

All essays should be double-spaced, APA format (including cover page and running header), 12-point font, with 1-inch margins.

Please address questions to the essay committee via e-mail at

Submission Deadline: April 15, 2020