Two Free Tenth Dems Events in April Focus on the Next Generation

April is the first full month of spring, and spring can be a poetic metaphor for youth.  So it is apt that the upcoming Tenth Dems April events both focus on opportunities for talented and engaged high school students.

Mikva with banner

On Monday evening, April 13, at 7:00 p.m., Tenth Dems University presents Civic Action for a New Generation:  The Mikva Challenge and the Stevenson Center on Democracy. The free event, at the Highland Park Public Library, 494 Laurel Avenue, will feature Judge Abner Mikva and former U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson III.  In addition, students from the Mikva Challenge program at Stevenson High School will share their experiences and reflections.

Mikva copy


Then, on Tuesday evening, April 14, at 7:00 p.m., join us at the Ramada Inn, 200 N. Green Bay Road, Waukegan, for the Fifth Annual Tenth Dems Community Connection Poetry and Prose Competition Awards Ceremony and Open Mic.  The young authors of prizewinning original works of poetry and prose will be honored while all contestants who attend will have the opportunity to read their short pieces aloud.

The competition, which closed on March 23, was open to students attending high schools in Waukegan, North Chicago, and Zion Township.  This year, contestants were asked to write about “hope,” a topic intended to inspire responses from young people facing a variety of challenges as they think about their post-high school lives.  As vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk said, “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”

poetry meeting photo copy

Tenth Dems Community Connection Poetry and Prose competition judges Heather Crain, Jacqueline Harris, and Lois Barr join the Tenth Dems planning committee to hammer out logistics for the April 14 Awards Night.


The Awards Ceremony MC, Kevin Lampe, is an internationally-known political strategist who has worked with such luminaries as President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, actor Erik Estrada, and civil rights icon Rosa Parks.  In the past, Lampe’s warmth and charm have put the young people at ease, inspiring many to conquer their initial reluctance and come to the microphone to read.  We expect this year to be no different.

The published writers who served on our panel of judges also will have the opportunity to read their own short, original works.

poetry award 2014

At the 2014  Poetry and Prose Competition Awards Night, Ayana Merrill accepts her award certificate from Tenth Dems Co-Chair Bonnie Berger-Neel.

Both of these events are free, but space is limited.  To RSVP, go to, or contact us at 847-266-VOTE (8683) or by email at

The April 13 event appears to be full.  We are still accepting new reservations for our wait list.  The event is general seating; confirmed registrants will be seated on a first come, first served basis.  If you have already registered and your plans have changed, please notify us immediately so that we can give your place to someone on the wait list.

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