What is the Black Collar Awards contest?

This contest was designed to create a visual representation of what it means to be Black Collar Workers. We want this award to bring to life the beauty and triumph of the Black worker experience, so we decided to launch a public contest to have an artist design the first ever Black Collar award. The contest will be open to illustrators, sculptors and painters, to use their artistic vision to create a unique rendition of art that brings the concept of a Black Collar Worker to life through this award statue or plaque.


What are Black Collar Workers?

We have all heard of White Collar, Blue Collar, and even Green Collar jobs- each of these categories are tied to certain types and classes of labor. The National Black Worker Center Project (NBWCP) asserts that there is another collar that needs recognition, the “Black Collar”. The Black collar is representative of the Black worker experience, an experience of adversity and triumph that is faced across all workplaces and industries. It is our Blackness that is the common thread, and the Black collar we wear represents a shared experience regardless of profession, industry, or pay grade.


Why do we need a Black Collar Award?

The Black Collar Award is The National Black Worker Center Project’s annual recognition of an individual who inspires, supports, and expresses effective social and worker justice for African Americans. This individual works to end the Black jobs crisis through: confronting racism and oppression as barriers to social change and healthy human relations; building multicultural community and solidarity; achieving diversity in membership, leadership, and staffing, and removing workplace barriers through the pursuit of racial justice and inclusion. This award celebrates tireless dedication to acting in solidarity with Black workers everywhere in the quest for racial and economic justice. It represents triumph in the face of adversity and a demonstrated commitment to dismantling systemic oppression through community building, and courageous leadership. It is our way to show sincere gratitude for those continue the legacy standing on the shoulders of the giants who have paved the way before us, while fearlessly blazing a new path for those still to come.


What prizes will the winning artist receive?

The winning artist will:
1. Have their work of art produced as the official statue or plaque used for the Black Collar Award.
2. Receive recognition at the National Black Worker Center Project’s (NBWCP) Working While Black Expo in Baltimore Maryland August 23rd – 25th 2019.
3. Travel to the Expo with Hotel, airfare and meal expenses paid for by the NBWCP.
4. Attend a special, invitation only opening reception where their original work will be auctioned off
5. Be present on stage for the presentation of the award during the August 25th Black Collar Awards Ceremony.
6. Receive an artist profile on the NBWCP website
7. Will have opportunities to speak with the press as a part of the Working While Black Expo and Black Collar Awards Press run.


How can I submit my art for the contest?

To enter your artwork for the the contest, please complete the application at the link below.


Please read the official contest rules and regulations before submitting your entry


ALL ENTRIES MUST BE SUBMITTED BY FRIDAY, May 17th, 2019 at 11:59pm PST.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.


How will you choose a winner?

All entries received by the deadline will be placed on the website for a period of public judging. The public voting period will begin on Tuesday, May 21st and conclude on Tuesday May 28th. Viewers will have the opportunity to vote online for the work that they like the best based on the images submitted and artists’ statement of interest. The three highest scored entries will go on to face judging by the NBWCP panel.


How can I vote during the contest?

Voting will take place online. Once the public voting period begins, we will post a URL that you may use to view all submissions and vote for your favorite. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to be notified the moment voting goes live.


When and where will the 2019 Black Collar Awards Ceremony be held?|

The Black Collar Award will be presented during the closing ceremony of NBWCP’s Working While Black Expo in Baltimore Maryland on August 25th, 2019. The winner of the contest will be recognized and honored at the Expo, will attend a special invitation only opening reception, and will be on stage during the presentation of the award.


How do I find out more about the Working While Black Expo?

The Working While Back Expo is a safe space to talk about Black worker progress and cooperation while building community, reflecting on the past, and focusing on mobilizing and organizing to develop solutions to current challenges. The Expo website will be launching in the Spring, and will provide a wealth of information for those wishing to attend, sponsor, volunteer, otherwise engage. Sign up for our email updates to stay connected and receive exclusive information as it becomes available.


What is the National Black Worker Center Project?

Founded in 2011, the National Black Worker Center Project (NBWCP) is a network of eight Black worker centers that formed in response to the ongoing jobs crisis afflicting the Black working class. Our network’s centers are based in: Los Angeles; Chicago; New Orleans; Baltimore; Raleigh-Rocky Mount, NC; Greenville, MS; Washington, D.C.; and Oakland. Our mission is to: support and incubate Black worker centers that empower Black workers to advance their rights and improve the quality of jobs in key employment sectors; provide education about the impacts of low wage and unemployment on black communities; and prevent racial discrimination in hiring and other employment practices and policies.


What are the official contest rules and regulations?

View the official contest rules, regulations, and timelines here