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Princeton Prize in Race Relations program expanded to three new cities

For immediate release: Oct. 4, 2004

Media contact: Patricia Allen, (609) 258-3601

PRINCETON, NJ — The Princeton Prize in Race Relations, an awards program for high school students who are doing exceptional work in their schools or communities to advance the cause of race relations, has expanded to three new cities.

Launched as a pilot during the 2003-04 school year in Boston and Washington, D.C., the Princeton Prize program is now being offered in Atlanta, Houston and St. Louis. The program was created by alumni volunteers and sponsored by the University's Alumni Council.

"The program was a tremendous success, and there were public and alumni requests to introduce it in other cities," said Henry Von Kohorn, chair of the Princeton Prize Committee and a 1966 graduate of the University. "We were greatly impressed by the commitment to improving race relations demonstrated by our prize applicants and the quality of the work they presented to the judging committees."

The objective of the program is not only to give out awards and cash prizes, but to support and encourage young people who are working hard to foster respect and understanding among people of different backgrounds.

"Our alumni have devoted a remarkable amount of personal time and energy to ensure this is a meaningful experience for the young people participating in the program," said Margaret Miller, director of the Alumni Council. "The expansion of the Princeton Prize program to three more cities is evidence of the enthusiasm our alumni have generated among students and educators in secondary schools."

The awards program was developed and is administered by the Princeton Prize Committee, which consists of University alumni, administrators and students. Project entries will be eligible for various prizes, including cash awards; the first-place honor is $1,000.

Last year, the committees in Boston and Washington received several outstanding projects created by high school students. The top prizes were awarded to Washington, D.C., area residents Jacqueline Akyea and Zainep Mahmoud, who shared first-place honors and received$500 at a ceremony hosted by alumni on Capitol Hill. Shan Shan Nie of Boston was presented with the $1,000 first-place award by the Princeton Alumni Association of New England.

Students submitted a wide range of projects to the prize committee. Noteworthy activities included: the formation of a club to promote good will and race relations with a focus on Asian culture and affairs; the launch of a new cultural and artistic program called Unity Day, which celebrates the diverse ethnic groups at a Boston area high school; and the production of a play on religious intolerance in the Washington, D.C., area following the tragedies of Sept. 11.

Students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to participate in the awards program. Applicants must have been engaged in their volunteer project in the last 12 months.

The application has two parts, one for the student and another to be completed by an adult supporter (who is not related to the candidate) such as a teacher, guidance counselor, religious leader or neighbor. Applications are available online. They must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2005. Winners will be announced in spring 2005.

Princeton is dedicated to advancing race relations on its campus. In recent years, the University has increased the diversity of its staff, faculty and student body and strengthened its academic programs in African-American, cultural and ethnic studies. The University has adopted the most progressive undergraduate financial aid program in the country. Princeton's Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding sponsors programs and discussions on the subject of race relations among members of the University community. With the Princeton Prize, the University intends to reach beyond its own campus to encourage and recognize the efforts of America's next generation of leaders.