BHM Essay Competition

Writing heals...

Why An Annual Essay Competition?

Our reasons are not far fetched and there are a few of them:

  • Our children have lots of ideas, they are creative and intelligent and so, it is good to learn from them.
  • We want to encourage them to learn about the past and come up with ideas for the future.
  • We want to honor the history of Blacks especially in Canada through this annual event.
  • Writing is therapeutic.

2024 Competition: 

  • Essay Topic: Celebrating African Heritage and Accomplishments
    • Objective: We want to inspire young people to learn and focus on the positive aspects of African history. This will help them feel proud and empowered, and give them the ability to challenge negative stereotypes.
    • Ask:
      • Write about the rich history, culture, and achievements of African people throughout history. In your essay. highlight their contributions in various fields such as science, arts, literature, and politics. 
  • Participant Profile:
    • Senior School students resident in Canada
    • Must be in grade 11 or 12
    • Undergraduates (University and College)
  • Submission requirements: 
    • One video recording of not more than 3 minutes (file name: FIRST NAME - LAST NAME-VIDEO)
      • Please upload this on YouTube (unlisted) and provide the URL in your submission. Alternatively, you can share your video via Google drive.
      • We are not looking for technically perfect video contributions, but rather real stories that can inspire others ands celebrate Africans, Caribbean and Black Canadian achievements.
    • A 2-page essay, APA style with single spacing (file name: FIRST NAME - LAST NAME-ESSAY.PDF)
    • A short BIO of maximum of 350 words (file name: FIRST NAME - LAST NAME-BIO.PDF)
    • A professional headshot of 750 x 750 px (file name: FIRST NAME - LAST NAME.JPEG)
  • Submission window:  
    • Entries Open - Jan 15, 2024 
    • Entries Close - Mar 31st, 2024 at 12pm EST
  • How to submit?
    • Send your response in ONE email to
  • Modalities:
    • The CNP team will review all entries and decide winners based on the quality of content received.
    • The winners will be announced during BHM Celebration and Essay Competition Event on June 29, 2024 
  • Prizes:
    • 1st Place Winner receives $1,000
    • 2nd Place Winner receives $750
    • 3rd Place Winner receives $500
  • Reward for ALL winners: 
    • All winners will receive a certificate from the City/Town Mayor and a celebration plaque.
    • Winners will be matched with mentors based on their interests/careers.
    • All three of the winning posts will be published on CNP's social media pages.

Past BHM Essay Competition Winners

2022 Winners

Nicola Odu - First Prize

My name is Nicola Jessica Odu. I am a Nigerian Canadian, born in 2004, who studies in Fredericton, New Brunswick. As a young black woman, I have a burning passion for STEM and hope to be amongst the many magnificent medical professionals to improve the quality of life of those around me in the future. In addition, I enjoy discussing racial and gender inequality issues that affect marginalized individuals, and more specifically, black people throughout the diaspora.

I believe it is crucial to take advantage of the opportunities laid out in front of me and acknowledge the sacrifices of those before me that permit me to be where I am now. I hope to be a form of representation that uplifts future generations of marginalized peoples to pursue professional fields of work.

Calah Iyase - Second Prize

Calah Iyase is a proud Nigerian Canadian with a passion for leadership. She is a Lifetime Media Volunteer for the Council of Nigerian Professionals. She advocates for equity and is a member of her school's Diversity club. She was the previous Social Media Captain of Future Majority's Oshawa Riding and is now a member of her school’s Student Council as the Minister of Incoming Students. Art and dance are her hobbies while maintaining her consistent honor roll placement in high school.

Currently, she anticipates the journey of becoming an outstanding Medical Doctor who takes care of children, which is inspired by her two younger brothers. Her biggest inspiration in life is her mother who taught her that hard work pays off.

Oreofeoluwa Dimeji - Third Prize

Oreofeoluwa is a great guy. His future is bright.  

 2021 Winners

Calah Iyase

My name is Calah Osamudiamen Iyase. I was born and raised in Nigeria, but lived in the US for a few years before I moved to Canada. I’m 15 years old and in Grade 10. I’m very familiar with social media and try my best to not be biased when expressing my views and takes. I am a proud Nigerian-Canadian, and I love to participate in my culture. My mom is certainly my biggest inspiration so I really look up to her.

Amah Igwilo

My name is Amalachukwu (Amah) Igwilo, I was born in 2004 and I am Nigerian. As a child I have always aspired to be a medical doctor and I one day hope of achieving this dream. During my free time I enjoy drawing and creative writing, any way to express my self creatively. The biggest values in my life are my family and God. 

Inspired by the hard working people in my life, I believe in hard work and the benefits that comes with it. I live by the motto “Everyday by every way I am getting better and better by God’s grace”, in hopes on becoming the best version of myself.

Nicola Odu

Hello, my name is Nicola Jessica Odu and I am a Nigerian Canadian who studies at Bishop P.F. Reding Catholic Secondary School. There are quite a few things about me that I would love to share! 


For one, I love to dig deeper into topics that focus on racism and prejudice in Canada and have profound conversations with friends, classmates and family on how to fix these issues that affect the black community. I enjoy trying foods from all different types of cultures, reading crime novels and listening to political podcasts. I take pleasure in giving back to my community and hope to continue my journey of self-discovery in the medical field.  

 2020 Winners

  • Olayimika Ogunjobi
  • Esther Johnson
  • Immanuel Okoroafor

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