Madeline Bouillon, winner of last year’s “You Have a Voice!” humanities speech competition. JAN DONA/L&C MARKETING & PRGODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College is hosting its annual “You Have a Voice!” humanities speech competition at 3 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, in the Ann Whitney Olin Theatre of the Hatheway Cultural Center.

The contest aims to give students an opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences on what it means to be human.

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All students are encouraged to participate or attend.

The top three winners will earn cash prizes. Speeches should be informative and persuasive, with a time limit of five to eight minutes.

The competition is organized by the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society and hosted by PTK Sponsor and Speech Professor Elizabeth Grant. This year’s event is co-sponsored by L&C Student Activities.

Grant said "You Have A Voice” was inspired by a former student who shared a heart-wrenching story. The student stood up for a fellow customer who was being bullied while waiting in line at CVS.

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"I realized that our students live in the trenches of humanity and are the best example of survival and thriving," said Grant. "Sharing these stories helps strengthen us collectively."

Speech topics should relate to the following, as proposed by the Illinois Articulation Initiative:

“What it means to be human – the struggles, aspirations, comedies and tragedies, and achievements and failures of human beings. The humanities wrestle with the basic questions that confront all humans in the course of their lives – identity, beauty, courage, love, truth, justice, and morality; and examine the dreams, traditions, and cultural expressions of peoples through time who have wrestled with these same questions.”

For more information on ‘You Have aVoice!’ or if you are ready to register, contact Elizabeth Grant at

Grant hopes contestants, whether they win or lose, will gain confidence in using their voices for good.

“To make our democracy work, we must never fear speaking out,” said Grant.

The humanities are the focal point of L&C’s Honors College, a program which aims to take students’ education to a higher level. For those interested in partnering with general education faculty in honors-level research, please contact Grant at

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