charleston – The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA) will host a virtual award ceremony to celebrate the student winners of the Project on Racism Contest and 37th Annual Poster Competition.

The ceremony can be viewed Saturday, Jan. 16 at 5 p.m. on HHOMA’s Facebook page or on Monday, Jan. 18 at 9:30 p.m. from WV Public Broadcasting, the West Virginia Channel, directly following the broadcast of the annual Ecumenical Service.

A program of the virtual ceremony can be accessed at

“The young people in our state have creativity and passion,” said HHOMA Executive Director and Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission Chair Jill Upson. “We are honored to take part in recognizing them, what they have to say and what they have achieved.”



The Project on Racism Contest was presented by the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission and the YWCA Wheeling. Entries were accepted for essays, music, and five-minute films and was open to any student from grades 1-12 attending public, private, parochial, or home school in West Virginia.

All entries focused on the following quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

Award recipients from this region for each category are:

Essay Award Recipients

Grade K-5

1st Place

Helen Miller

Ansted Elementary School, 5th Grade


Grade 6-8

2nd Place

Nicholas Lilly

Shady Spring Middle School, 8th Grade


Grade 9-12 

3rd Place

Jonathan Nguyen

Greenbrier East High School, 10th Grade



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