Drawing Inspiration From our Annual Black History Month Art Contest
On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I am proud to announce that our Black History Month Art Contest with Boys & Girls Clubs of America is back for another year. I’m even more proud to say that what started as a contest with one Boys & Girls Club in 2008 has grown to include 30 Clubs in 2022.
The contest continues to be meaningful and valuable for youth in our communities and for our many associates who volunteer at their local Boys & Girls Club to make it the successful program it has become. For me, the best part is seeing the creativity, skill and artistry that comes through in the youth’s artwork. There are some true artists out there.
As I look back on the years that we’ve hosted this program, last year sticks out to me the most. As a country, we were continuing to reckon with social injustice and acts of racism and violence that led to protests the previous summer. Hosting this contest felt more needed than ever as a way for youth in our communities to express themselves and celebrate black icons, both past and present.
For 2022, I look forward to another iteration of this contest as we introduce an exciting new enhancement. For the first time, we are encouraging Boys & Girls Club members to create their artwork in recognition of influential Black STEM icons, including historical figures, world leaders, scientists and educators. As a company, we are focused on addressing gaps in STEM education, and we hope that this new element inspires and encourages youth to pursue a career in STEM.
Right now, Club members are busy researching and creating their original pieces of art. On February 1 and throughout Black History Month, 10 finalists from each Club will be posted online for public vote here. I encourage you to come back and check out the artwork from the Club in your area to vote for your favorite. The top three vote-getters at each of the 30 Clubs receive gift cards - $250 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third – for a total of $15,000 provided directly to the youth. These prizes are funded by our Network of Black Associates, an associate resource group dedicated to creating an environment that attracts, develops and retains Black associates.
At UScellular, this contest is just one of the ways we celebrate diversity and the rich history of Black people in our country. I can’t wait to see the creativity that the Club members bring to their artwork this year!