Timberwolves and Lynx to Partner with Star Tribune for Criminal Justice Reform Essay Contest

Minneapolis-St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx are collaborating with Star Tribune Opinion and Augsburg University’s Minnesota Urban Debate League for a youth essay contest focused around criminal justice reform. 

The contest is open to Minnesota students between the ages of 10 and 18 to create an original written essay, video or audio file that describes one or two specific changes our community, state or nation should make to reduce racial inequities and injustices in the criminal justice system. Top submissions as determined by a group of judges from the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota will be published in the Star Tribuneon StarTribune.com and shared with leaders across our state and nation. 

The first round of judging will take place by Augsburg University’s MNUDL to determine the top10 essays. The final judging panel will include Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie, Timberwolves Associate Head Coach David Vanterpool, Lynx Assistant Coach Rebekkah Brunson, Vice President of Programs at RISE, Kim Miller and Minneapolis Foundation’s Senior Vice President of Impact, Chanda Smith Baker, and Star Tribune editorial writer, Denise Johnson. The final panel will review the submissions to narrow it down to the top essays in each of the two divisions, middle school (6th-8th grades) and high school (9th-12th grades).   

“We need change. I’ve seen and heard a lot of powerful youth voices step up to be heard this summer. Change happens when people speak from a place of knowledge and passion,
said Timberwolves Guard Josh Okogie. “I’m excited to hear how they think change is possible.” 

The timeline for submissions is as follows: 

  • August 16thlast day to submit essays 
  • August 16th – August 31st: Minnesota Urban Debate League judging first round 
  • September 1st – September 12th: final judging panel will read submissions and select winners from finalists 

Written essays must be no more than 700 words, typed, double-spaced and in 12-point font. Video and audio submissions should be no longer than two minutes and must be submitted in a file format that can be uploaded to YouTube. If you use any materials from other people (research, writing, video or audio clips, etc.) you must give credit to those people either in your submission or in an additional text document not more than 50 words long. Students who feel inclined to create a group submission may do so with no more than seven total people in the video or audio file. 

More information on the contest, including rules and how to submit entries can be found hereQuestions can be sent to essaysubmissions@startribune.com.