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Photo Contest

One Book is excited to congratulate the winners of this year’s photo contest! Check out the winning photos below, and visit our Facebook page to view the rest of the entries. 

1st Place: Lincoln Memorial


Libby Raymond, undergrad MEAS

"This sign guards the Lincoln Memorial built in 1914-1922. Its simplistic message seems to echo off the walls where the memory of the 16th president is preserved. In
1867 a group led by a black woman born into slavery began to collect money to honor
the author of the Emancipation Proclamation. The resulting monument immortalized Abraham Lincoln as a symbol of unity, strength, and wisdom. Much makes this Memorial remarkable. The exterior, modeled after the Parthenon in Greece, the birthplace of democracy, represents the protection of democracy. On the interior, there are inscriptions of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Speech. The Gettysburg Address displays the president's determination to conclude the Civil War, reunite the nation, and finish what our founders had begun. In his Second Inaugural Speech Lincoln's willingness to show compassion to the southern people,“…with malice towards none; charity for all,” quelled the post-war hostilities. Further yet, the Memorial’s steps witnessed history-making moments such as the 'I Have a Dream' speech. Each of these details leaves one resounding message - Respect Please. Respect for the equality of all, and respect for those who have made mistakes. Respect for all humanity."

2nd Place: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial


Jamal Jenkins, TGSG

"During Thanksgiving break, I took the opportunity to visit the various monuments in the National Mall area. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is important because it honors the legacy of a man who played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement and who worked to end racial segregation and discrimination in the United States. It was created in 2011 and was the first memorial to honor a person of color and a non-President in the National Mall area. The memorial was designed by Chinese artist Lei Yixin and was dedicated on October 16, 2011. The idea for a memorial honoring Martin Luther King Jr. began in 1968, just four days after King was assassinated, and it took more than two decades for the memorial to become a reality. His message of nonviolence and his efforts to bring about social and political change continue to inspire people around the world. The memorial serves as a reminder of his contributions and as a symbol of hope for future generations."

3rd Place: Libre y en Paz


Ronnie Toca, SPS graduate student

"This photo commemorates the sacrifice and bravery my father had to make and muster for me to have the freedom and life he did not. My father knew I would not have an easy life in Cuba as an unabashedly queer and precocious kid. He conspired with a friend to seek freedom by sailing to Florida to allow me the opportunity to be my whole self. Unfortunately, that friend betrayed him and my father became a political prisoner. During his imprisonment, he sought a way out of the lifetime of surveillance our family would endure and remembered that his father was a Spaniard. Thanks to Spain’s imperialistic connections with Cuba, my father obtained a Spanish passport, which I received as his son, and he married my mother at the Spanish embassy. We left Cuba as a family in 1994. My father passed away in March of this year after being imprisoned and confined to a hospital bed since 2017. In honor of what he risked for and to bring his legacy into the light, I chose his epitaph to read, “Libre y en Paz,” “Free and at peace.” May he and our ancestors continue to be free and at peace."

People's Choice: The Parthenon


Nevena Stanic Kovacevic, Musicology Ph.D. Student

"Located on top of the Acropolis hill in Athens, Greece, the Parthenon used to be a sacred place dedicated to the goddess of Athens, Athena. Today, it is a holy place for tourists hungry to awe of history. Captured on the walking path in front of the Acropolis Museum, Parthenon is the reflection of not only the memorial site of Athens, Ancient Greek, and early European culture but metaphorically also a place that commemorates the urban tourist quest for the spectacle and meaning. Therefore, the picture represents remembering our origins and attempts to re-create ourselves in the reflection of monuments."

Images in Commemorating History: A Visual Storytelling Contest 2023

Connecting with the themes of this year's One Book selection, How the Word is Passed, A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith, One Book One Northwestern is hosting the “Images in Commemorating History” photo contest. We invite you to submit an image of a monument or memorial—statues, plaques, markers, and place names that commemorate people and events in your community. Submit a short paragraph with the image that answers these questions. Why is it important, when was it created and who decided to commemorate the person, place, or thing? The image should inspire, enlighten, or awe the audience.

Contest Rules

  1. This contest is open only to Northwestern students. One entry per student participant. 
  2. All photo files must be a .png, .jpg, or .jpeg file. Images of photography, drawings, paintings, digital art, etc. will be accepted. Videos or moving images will not be considered for this contest.
  3. All photo entries must be your own original work.
  4. All entries will be posted on One Book's Facebook page, and winners may be announced on our other social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram).



A committee of Northwestern representatives, selected by One Book, will review each submission. The public will have the opportunity to vote for the "People's Choice" winner on Facebook after September 30. The winner of the contest will be announced in early October.

Deadline: Friday, January 13, 2022 at 6pm Central Standard Time

Submit Your Image

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