The Columbus Human Rights Department is currently accepting nominations for the William R. Laws Award, as well as entries for the Art & Essay Contest.

William R. Laws Human Rights Award

The Human Rights Commission seeks nominations from the public for the William R. Laws Human Rights Award at the beginning of the year. The recipient will be a member, a group of members from the community, or a community organization who have made a substantial contribution to the community of Columbus in any area(s) of human equality.

Nomination Criteria

The nominees for the Award should have made a significant contribution by doing one or more of the following:

(1) improving relationships among all people;

(2) increasing the sensitivity of one group toward another group;

(3) educating people about the barriers or eliminating the barriers facing people of color, women, persons with disabilities, religious minorities, or others who have been treated unequally because of prejudice; and

(4) using existing means or creating new safeguards to protect the rights of others.

Deadline for submissions is Thursday, April 25, 2024, by 5:00 p.m.

Human Rights Commission Art & Essay Contest

The Human Rights Commission is pleased to announce the 2024 J. Irwin Miller Art Contest and the Benjamin M. King Essay Contest. Each year, we provide students with historical context and a foundation upon which they can express themselves by creating an original work of art or composition of an essay. This year’s theme is “Living your authentic life.”

One winner will be selected for both contests in the following divisions:

Division 1: Grades 5 — 6

Division 2: Grades 7 — 8

Division 3: Grades 9 — 12

Students are invited to enter the art contest, essay contest, or both.

A panel of volunteer judges will anonymously select the winning entries for both contests in each division. Winners will receive a $100 award, an award-winning book, and complimentary tickets to the 2024 Human Rights Commission’s Annual Dinner.  Details about the dinner will be forthcoming.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 30, by 5:00 p.m. No entries will be accepted after this date.