- $1,500 for high school essay winner
- $1,500 for high school video winner
- $1,500 for college essay winner
- $1,500 for college video winner
AU’s annual contest encourages students to reflect on why religious freedom and church-state separation are important to them and their communities—and what they can do to ensure religious freedom is a shield that protects the rights of everyone to practice religion according to their own beliefs, or not practice at all, as long as they don’t harm others.
High school and colleges students in Americans United’s 2023 Student Contest were asked to reflect on their vision for church-state separation.
The 2023 contest is now closed. Please stay tuned for more detail about the 2024 student contest.
At Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU), we envision a nation where we are all free to believe or not believe as we choose, where our laws don’t allow anyone to use their beliefs to harm others, and where we can come together as equals to build a stronger democracy.
What is your vision for church-state separation? What would happen if we secured separation of church and state in the United States, and all people were able to live as themselves and believe as they choose? Students are invited to write a short essay or create a short video sharing that vision.
Tips for your submission:
The contest is open to high school students and undergraduate students attending any 2- or 4-year college or university including trade & technical schools. Students must live in the United States including the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. Employees and board members of Americans United, and members of their families, are not eligible to participate.
Participants can submit either an essay or a video, not both. Students are only eligible for one prize.
Submissions will be judged on creativity and adherence to the topic above and additional criteria below. Essay submissions must be received by 11:59PM PT on Monday, May 8th, and video submissions must be received by 11:59PM PT on Monday, June 5th.
Democracy, equality, and freedom all depend on the separation of church and state—and they’re all under attack by a billion-dollar Shadow Network of religious extremists and their political allies. To fight back against them, we need you with us! Give today and have your gift matched!Donate Now