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With clear, concise, creative messaging, three District residents recently won top honors for video demonstrations of COVID-19 safety protocols.

In partnership with THEARC Theater, the Howard University Department of Theatre Arts, The Washington Informer Newspaper, WHUR 96.3 and WPFW 89.3, the Black Coalition Against COVID (BCAC) required competition participants to produce 30-second videos on their smartphones showing and saying why it’s important to wear masks.

The goal of the competition was to engage the community itself in taking direct and immediate action necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The competition winners were announced during our Virtual Video Festival, hosted by BCAC member Dr. Melissa Clarke, broadcast live on Friday, June 24. The winners included:

First Place ($1,500): Jayden Settles
Jayden, who will be attending Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in the fall, enjoys playing sports, mainly basketball and engaging in all kinds of art and music activities.

Second Place ($500): Norman Nixon
Norman, president of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Institute Alumni Association, is also an associate minister at Union Temple Baptist Church located in Ward 8.

Third Place ($250): Ife Calhoun
Ife, a student and a Ward 4 resident, used the recent stay-at-home order to become an entrepreneur and launched a T-shirt business – something she loves to do.

The names of those listed above represent the top three of six finalists, all announced and their videos shown during the Festival. The Festival will be available permanently on the BCAC website (

In this time of protest and affirmation of life, BCAC reminds all of us that Black Lives Matter and to show it, wear a mask.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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