AS WE APPROACH Racial Justice Sunday (31 January) the Columban Missionary Society is inviting entries to its Schools Media Competition, with this year’s theme being ‘Let’s Create A World Without Racism’.

The objective of the competition is to encourage students age14-18 to use their media skills to look at a topical issue which is relevant to society today, and which resonates with Catholic Social Teaching. Entries of an original piece of writing or an original image can be submitted until the closing date of 20 February. Winners will be announced on 15 March 2021, and there are cash prizes of up to £300. Two separate competitions will be judged, one for students in Ireland and one in Britain, and the judges will be professional journalists.

Ellen Teague of the Columbans says: “Young people in Ireland and Britain have been out on the streets calling for an end of racism. This is a chance to engage with an issue that addresses equality, justice, inclusion and also draws on faith and personal experience.”

The winning entries will be published in the Far East magazine, online on Columban websites in Ireland and Britain, shared on Columban social media, and published in other Catholic media. This is the fourth annual competition for young people, with past themes looking at Migrants, Climate Change and ‘Tackling our throwaway culture’. Last year 20 schools in England submitted entries and 26 in Ireland.

Reflecting on a year that saw the global Covid-19 pandemic disproportionately impact on ethnic minority groups and a series of mass protests in the US in response to high profile killings such as that of George Floyd, Bishop Paul McAleenan, the lead Bishop for Racial Justice in England and Wales says: “It’s not enough to simply denounce racism. This is a time to act….Racism is a sin and a violation of human dignity in which we are all complicit. As Catholics we need to acknowledge and confront our own failings – as individuals and as a Church. Every single one of our parishes, schools and organisations has a responsibility to actively practise anti-racism in all aspects of our mission.”

The Columban Missionary Society works in 16 countries, with a charism of crossing boundaries of language, race, culture and religion. Justice and Peace issues are top priority.

* More information on the competition here.

* Source: Columban Missionaries in Britain