Pistons fund $55K of scholarships for annual Black History Month contest
DETROIT (WJBK) - The Detroit Pistons are hoping to teach kids the importance of diversity and history with a competition at the DIA.
In celebration of Black history month, Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, Pistons VP Arn Tellem, and the Pistons foundation, partnered to fund $55,000 of scholarships for Detroit high school students.
You only have to answer one simple question - what does equality mean to you?
Ten high school students answered that question through a number of expressions, like with an essay, dance, singing and a demonstration.
"We have so many amazing students that are doing well in school and today is going to showcase their talents, their gifts and I'm just excited to be a part of this," said Councilwoman Mary Sheffield, a contest judge.
The event, held at the Detroit Institute of Arts, has been going on for 13 years. And before the competition, a few hundred students took part in a black history art scavenger hunt.
"You want equality in terms of opportunity more than anything else," former Mayor Dave Bing said.
And the opportunity was judged by a top panel of judges.
"Being here with kids who grew up in the city and doing something positive, reaching for their dreams, that is what this contest is about," said FOX 2'sJosh Landon, a contest judge.
The first place winner was Charity Turnboe, $25K scholarship winner from Cornerstone Leadership HS 9
"Equality to me is communal access," Turnboe said. "I wanted (them to) physically see that minority groups do not have access to resources the same way some people do. That was my goal for today and I think I accomplished that."
"You've got to put yourself out there and somebody's going to notice that, so you can get the balance that you need," said Rick Mahorn, former Piston and judge.
"The girl that did Tupac was my favorite. It was good to see how the kids are accepting what's been given to them," said Stanley Johnson, current Piston.