Kamal Kishore Kapur Memorial Prize


The Kamal Kishore Kapur Memorial Prize honors undergraduate students’ voices that engage with social and political issues of Asian American experience and that seek to transform the worlds around us.

Background

Kamal Kishore Kapur was born in a small town in North India and was the sixth of his parents’ nine children. He joined the Indian Railways at the age of twenty-one, two years before the Indian independence from the British and the Partition of the country. Although he was able to work his way up the ranks in railway service to retire as station-master, throughout his life he just made enough money to make ends meet. He led an ordinary life, but he had unflinching belief in education and its power to transform people’s lives and render them extraordinary. He could only afford to send his children to make-shift schools with thatched roofs, but because of his faith in education, his children achieved great academic and professional success and have gone on to occupy important positions. He instilled in his children and grandchildren the idea that finding one's voice is transformative and that academic reading and writing play an important role in finding that voice. He consumed politics with a passion and recognized that ultimately finding one’s voice is a political act. He passed away in February 2006. In his memory, The Kamal Kishore Kapur Memorial Prize honors undergraduate students’ voices that engage with social and political issues of Asian American experience and that seek to transform the worlds around us.

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Photo credit: Liz Thomson


  
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Photo credit: Liz Thomson

 

Submissions

This year's prompt is "What does post-9/11 activism mean to you?" Write a 500-word essay on the impact of post-9/11 activism at UIC, in Chicago, within your own community, or internationally. Essays will be judged for engaging content, strength of writing, and originality of presentation. Diverse viewpoints and experiences are welcome. Specific UIC perspectives are highly encouraged.
 
Any currently registered UIC undergraduate students are eligible to enter. You do not have to be of Asian or Arab American descent.
 
Students are awarded prizes of $200 for 1st prize and $100 for 2nd prize. Winners will be recognized at the Asian American Studies Expo event on April 20th at 4pm.
 
Please submit your essays by Thursday April 9th at 12:00pm.

Direct any questions to Matthew Heichelbech (mheich2@uic.edu). 

Kamal Kishore Kapur Essay Prompt 2015