Hip History Contest Launches


March 3, 2021

New Nonprofit Launches ‘Hip’ Student Contest to Spotlight Importance of Buxton, Iowa

OTTUMWA, IA — Rachelle Chase, Founder and Executive Director of Uniting Through History, wants the world to know about Buxton, Iowa. 

To help spread the word about this extraordinary town, Chase invites young people in Iowa and beyond to enter Uniting Through History’s first annual Hip History Contest, a virtual challenge for middle and high school students to educate everyone about Buxton. Established in 1900, Buxton was a coal mining town where Blacks and whites experienced equality and equity and lived and worked side-by-side in peaceful productivity. Black Americans, the majority of the population, were leaders in the community.

The Hip History Contest will run from March 1 to May 12. Thanks to a generous donation by Musco Sports Lighting, LLC, contest finalists will win between $250 and $2,000 and will get their work in front of celebrity judges. To enter, visit https://unitingthroughhistory.org/contest-rules.

“Young people today love to express themselves online and watch their favorite content creators, so what better way to get them excited about experiences of Black Americans and educate people about Buxton than to put their talents to video?” says Chase, an author and expert on Buxton.

The Hip History Contest combines Chase’s love for Buxton with her past success running online contests. 

Chase the Dream, a contest connecting aspiring romance authors with New York publishers and agents, spanned four years and drew more than 5,000 participants. With the Finding Derek contest, Chase landed the male hero for her first romance novel while some contestants landed modeling gigs.

Not only will students who enter the Hip History Contest have the chance to win money and other enticing prizes, they may also get feedback and a Zoom meeting with successful judges who could be professional resources for them later in life.

Contest judges include Charity Nebbe of Iowa Public Radio; Derrick Holmes, CEO, Banneker Watches & Clocks; MarKaus, rapper and Ziyad founder; and Steve Myers, president of Iowa’s premier talent agency, The Peak Agency. Recently added judges include Monica Henry, L.D. Kidd, Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey, and Jatyra Marsh.

Chase wants the Hip History Contest to extend awareness of Buxton beyond what she’s been able to accomplish with her acclaimed books and the more than 80 popular presentations she has given on the town. 

“Not only will the contest give young people the chance to use their creativity to learn about and educate others on an overlooked part of history, it also serves Uniting Through History’s mission to further acceptance of and pride in the fact that Black history is American history,” Chase says. 

Chase added that she hopes people will see how Buxton’s lessons of unity and racial equality can be applied today to help combat racism in America.

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