The Orange County Human Relations Commission has named the winners of this years Pauli Murray Awards Student Essay Contest.
At the middle school level, the first-place winner was Hunter Hall, a student at Stanford Middle School in Hillsborough. The second-place winner was Hsar Wei from Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill, and Emma Morris from Stanford Middle won third place. Emma also won the commissions Pauli Murray Youth Award for service to the community.
At the high school level, Anna Dallara from East Chapel Hill High School won first place, and, from Orange High School in Hillsborough, Daniel Jorgenson won second and Evonna Sampedro won third.
Students were asked to write essays from the perspective of a Southern slave in 1863 who has just learned of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than 60 essays were submitted.
The Pauli Murray Awards honor Orange County citizens who serve the community with an emphasis on equality, justice and human rights for all residents. The contest is named for local activist, lawyer and poet Pauli Murray, who died in 1985.