Dominion Energy and S.C. Department of Education Launch Student Writing Contest to Celebrate Notable African Americans in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (March 3, 2021) Dominion Energy is expanding its Strong Men & Women program to South Carolina in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE). Building on SCDE’s longstanding South Carolina African American History Calendar, which honors prominent African Americans in the state who have made noteworthy contributions, the Strong Men & Women in South Carolina History program will feature an essay contest for high school students.

“The South Carolina Department of Education is thrilled to extend its partnership with Dominion Energy by offering this wonderful opportunity to high school students,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “We have seen the positive influence the African American History Calendar has had in South Carolina classrooms over the past 30 years, and we believe this new writing contest will further add to its legacy by challenging students to think creatively on a particular subject.”

All South Carolina high school juniors and seniors are invited to submit a 500-word essay for a chance to receive an Apple MacBook Air and $1,000 for their school. Winning students will be invited to participate in the unveiling ceremony of the 2022 African American History Calendar, and their essays will be showcased on the Dominion Energy and SCDE websites. Students will write about social justice by conveying what it means to them, how a lack of social justice throughout American history has affected minority communities, and actions that can be taken in support of social justice.

“Dominion Energy is excited to partner with the South Carolina Department of Education to engage high school students in such a meaningful way,” said Rodney Blevins, president of Dominion Energy South Carolina. “This initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to education and social justice, while recognizing African Americans who have contributed to the fullness and richness of South Carolina’s history.”

In 2019, Dominion Energy became the first additional corporate sponsor of the South Carolina African American History Calendar since its inception more than 30 years ago.

Dominion Energy and SCDE employees and volunteers will serve as judges and choose a winning essay from each of South Carolina’s five regions: Midlands, Upstate, Lowcountry, Pee Dee and Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).

Essay contest timeline: 

  • Deadline for entries is April 23.
  • Judging will take place April 26 – May 14.
  • Winners will be notified in late May. 

Each entrant must be a high school junior or senior at a public or private high school in South Carolina. Homeschoolers also may apply; the $1,000 school award can be applied to a homeschooler association if the winner’s family has an active, dues-paying membership.

Learn more and enter the essay contest by visiting  

About the South Carolina African American History Calendar

For the past 32 years, the South Carolina Department of Education and its statewide partners have produced the South Carolina African American History Calendar. An idea that initially was created to help bolster the state’s K-12 African American history curriculum, the calendar profiles individuals who have had positive, compelling impacts on South Carolina and, often, our entire nation.

About the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation

Through the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, as well as EnergyShare and other programs, Dominion Energy contributed more than $58 million in 2020 to community causes. The Foundation supports nonprofit causes that meet basic human needs, protect the environment, promote education, and encourage community vitality. For more information about the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, visit

For further information: Derek Phillips,, 803-734-0782, Kaytee Watson,, 803-440-7581