Her words changed the world.

2016 Student Stowe Prize

The Student Stowe Prize

Save the Date

The Student Stowe Prize, established by the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in 2012, recognizes outstanding writing by United States high school and college students that is making a tangible impact on a social justice issue critical to contemporary society.  Issues may include, but are not limited to, race, class and gender.  Entries must have been published or publicly presented.

The Student Stowe Prizes will next be awarded on June 2, 2016 at the Stowe Center’s fundraising event, the Big Tent Jubilee. The Student winners will also be featured at the Real Stories of Social Change panel, a free public program immediately preceding the Big Tent.

The recognition includes a $2,500 prize for the college winner and a $1,000 prize for the high school winner.  The winning entries are printed in the Big Tent program book and posted on the Stowe Center’s web site.

Congratulations to the 2016 Student Stowe Prize winners: Martese Johnson, University of Virginia and Nina Sachs, Francis W. Parker School, Chicago, IL. See more information about the winners below.



Stowe Prize Syllabus contains links to winners' entries as well as additional readings on the students' topics.









Andrew AydinAuthor Andrew Aydin will be the keynote speaker at the Big Tent Jubilee and a panelist at Inspiring Action: Real Stories of Social Change .

Aydin is co-author of the #1 New York Times best-selling graphic memoir series, March, which chronicles the life of Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. Co-authored with Rep. Lewis and illustrated by Nate Powell, March is a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Special Recognition and the Coretta Scott King Book Award Author Honor. 

More about Andrew Aydin

Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin talk about March

Book Cover


Buy the March books  Pick up your copies on June 2 from 3-4 PM at the Inspiration to Action Fair at Immanuel Congregational Church (where Andrew Aydin will sign books) or at the Stowe Museum Store.










2016 Student Stowe Prize Winners

Martese Johnson


Martese Johnson, a student at University of Virginia, was selected as the college winner for “Reflections After a Trending Hashtag – Criminal Justice and the Events of March 18, 2015,” advocating against anti-black violence , published in Vanity Fair. Mr. Johnson is a fourth year student majoring in Italian Studies. He will be the first in his family to graduate from a four-year university. As an advocate for racial justice, he has appeared on CNN, CBS, HuffPost Live, and ABC and spoken at events including the National Urban League Conference, the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference and TEDxCharlottesville.


Nina Sachs


Nina Sachs, a student at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, IL was selected as the high school winner for “Empowering Women, Period,” published in Teen Ink. A high school junior with a passion for women’s rights, Sachs started a group at her school called Tampon Tuesdays (PowerToThePeriod.com)  which works to raise awareness, supplies, and money for women in need in the Chicago community and around the world. She also serves as a Youth Liaison for Her Story Theater, a theater company for social change that produces plays about human trafficking, domestic violence, and homelessness.






Congratulations to the 2016 Runners Up

College: Liliana Frankel, Swarthmore College, Yardley, PA for By Force or listen to the podcast

High School: Lydia Henning, Hall High School, West Hartford, CT for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day speech


Legacy Presenting Sponsor: The Hartford

The Hartford logo










2016 Silver Sponsors

Day Pitney, LLP
Friend of the Stowe Center
United Technologies

Bronze Sponsors

Susan Johnson
Pratt & Whitney
Robinson & Cole, LLP
Stephan & Francine Christiansen
Fairview Capital Partners
Bartlett, Brainard & Eacott
Pullman & Comley LLC


Award History


Winners with Katherine Kane


Donya Nasser, St. John’s University
Topic: Women in Leadership

Madeline Sachs, University of Chicago Laboratory High School
Topic: Juvenile Justice









Yessica Salano, Mount Vernon High School
Topic: Immigration

Keynote Speaker: Teresa Younger, CEO & President, Ms. Foundation for Women

Photos : 2014 Stowe Prize Big Tent Jubilee

Photos : 2014 Inspiring Action networking fair and Real Stories of Social Change, Stowe Prize panel discussion

: Welcome from 2014 Honorary Chairperson, Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro

Audio: Real Stories of Social Change, Stowe Prize panel discussion -- Coming Soon

Video: Reflection from 2014 Student Stowe Prize winner Madeline Sachs -- Coming Soon

Video: Reflection from 2014 Student Stowe Prize winner Donya Nasser -- Coming Soon


Sadof (l) & Morgan

Hannah Morgan, University of Maryland
Topic: Homelessness

Tess Domb Sadof, Amherst Regional High School
Topic: Bullying




Roberto Jose Sanchez
, Connecticut River Academy
Topic: Discrimination

Rachel Stonecipher,
Southern Methodist University
Topic: Immigration


Keynote Speaker: Annette Gordon-Reed, 2009 Pulitzer Prize in History for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family 

Photos : 2012 Stowe Prize Big Tent Jubilee

Photos : 2012 Inspiration to Action networking fair

Photos: 2012 Real Stories of Social Change, Stowe Prize panel discussion