Student Writings Program

Columbia Values Diversity Celebration Logo

Forward in Unity: Embracing Our Beloved Community

Students in grades 4-12 are invited to submit their original essays and poetry for possible publication in the 2018 Columbia Values Diversity Celebration Student Writings Booklet. This booklet will be distributed to over 1,000 people at the annual community celebration on January 11, 2018. You can view past year’s booklets below.


The theme for the 25th annual Columbia Values Diversity Celebration is: “Forward in Unity: Embracing Our Beloved Community.” Because Columbia is a city of many ethnic groups, religions, cultures, and opinions, it is important that all community members know that their story and their voice are important and valued. Submit an essay or poem describing how there is inclusion and acceptance in our community despite our differences.

Writing Suggestions

To help students get started, consider using one of the following prompts:

Narrative: Write a story, real or imagined, describing how we celebrate our community and embrace its diversity.

PersuasiveIn what ways is there already celebration of our community and our diversity within Columbia and in what ways does our community still have work to do, to better celebrate our beloved community?

Expository: Research and describe an individual, organization, or event in our community that has and/or continues to actively celebrate our diverse community in Columbia.

Creative: Using a genre of your choice (e.g. poem, song/rap, etc.) create an original piece of literature that shows how our community is celebrated and our diversity embraced.

For More Information

 Download the 2017 Student Writings Program guidelines

Deadline for submitting writings was: Monday, November 13, 2017. 

View the 2017 Diversity Writings video: Building an Inclusive Columbia.

Previously Published Student Writings Booklets