Second Annual Civil Rights Night Essay Contest winners announced

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) has announced the winners of the Second Annual Student Essay Contest in conjunction with the Annual Civil Rights Night Game. This year’s first place winner is Michelle Zheng. Michelle wrote the essay during her spring semester of fifth grade and is currently a sixth grade student at Center Grove Middle School. Second and third place winners are Ashley Martinez from Indianapolis and Gavin Ball from Corydon.

All of the winners will be honored at the Fourth Annual Civil Rights Night Game on Friday, August 14, 2015 at Victory Field. This year’s Civil Right Night, sponsored by the ICRC, will feature a double header against the Durham Bulls with the first game set to begin at 6:05 pm.

“We are excited about the Fourth Annual Civil Rights Game,” said Jamal L. Smith, Executive Director of the ICRC. “It gives us an opportunity to promote the importance of equitable education and honor young people with the Student Essay Contest.”

The Student Essay Contest asked students to submit an essay which addressed the question: “Why is it important for ALL children to get a quality education?” The contest was open to all Indiana elementary school students in grades K-6.

Contest Results

First Place – Michelle Zheng, 6th Grade, Center Grove Middle School
Click here to view her essay.
As the first place winner, Michelle will have her essay published in the Indianapolis Recorder and receive a personalized Indianapolis Clowns throwback jersey as worn by the Indians during the Fourth Annual Civil Rights Game on August 15, 2015. Her family will also receive tickets to the game and she will have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch with ICRC’s Executive Director Jamal L. Smith.

Second Place – Ashley Martinez, 5th Grade, Enlace Academy
Click here to view her essay.
As the second place winner, Ashley will receive an Indianapolis Indians T-shirt and tickets for her family to attend to the Fourth Annual Civil Rights Game on Friday, August 14, 2015 at Victory Field.

Third Place – Gavin Ball, 6th Grade, Corydon, IN
Click here to view his essay.
As the third place winner, Gavin will receive a signed Rowdie baseball or an Indianapolis Indians souvenir bat and tickets to the Fourth Annual Civil Rights Game on Friday, August 14, 2015 at Victory Field.

Click here to view a copy of the contest flyer.

Click here for more information on Civil Rights Night.

Additional sponsors for the game include: Indianapolis Recorder, La Voz De Indiana and Indiana Black Expo.

For questions contact Darren Thomas,, (317) 232-2624.