Washington, DC is proud to have ties to two great African Americans who were dedicated to the education and advancement of their race. Dr. E.B. Henderson, who is considered the “Grandfather of Black Basketball”, was said to have written over 3,000 letters to newspapers advocating for civil rights.  Benjamin Banneker, who is credited as one of the surveyors of the District of Columbia and laying the boundary stones, wrote a letter to the then U.S. Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson advocating for justice of African Americans and opposing slavery.   

To celebrate and honor their legacies, select a community leader/organization and write an essay between 350-500 words advocating for their cause/mission and its importance in your life. 

Deadline to submit: February 1, 2024

The Washington Wizards will award the top ten winning essays: 

  • Two (2) complimentary tickets to a select Wizards home game 
  • Recognition during a Washington Wizards home game 
  • Recognition on the Washington Wizards digital and social media channels 
  • In partnership with the Greater Washington Urban League the Washington Wizards will award the ten (10) finalists a monetary scholarship going towards their continued education route or college of their choice. 
  • Grand Prize: $5,000  
  • 2nd Place: $4,000  
  • 3rd Place: $3,500  
  • Other 7 Finalists: $2,500 

All students who submit an essay fitting the criteria will receive two (2) complimentary tickets to a select Wizards home game. 

*Subject to eligibility restrictions and additional terms and conditions. See entry page for more information.