top of page


The Northern Nevada Diversity Summit Student Speech Contest is an annual competition hosted by the Cultural Diversity Committee and UNR's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office, giving students from Northern NSHE institutions the opportunity to share their thoughts on a predetermined topic (see below). The top three selected speeches will receive a prize and be invited to present their speeches at the Northern Nevada Diversity Summit.


Dec 1, 2023

Deadline to sign up as a speech contestant.

Jan 12, 2024

Deadline to submit your speech video.

Feb 1, 2024

The contest Committee will notify the selected finalists.

Feb 22, 2024

The chosen finalists will present at the Summit.


What is the role of education in promoting critical thinking and courageous conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion?  How can schools better prepare students for these discussions?

What are the challenges and benefits of engaging in conversations about controversial or sensitive topics? How can individuals approach such discussions constructively to promote understanding and change?

What impact does the media and popular culture have on shaping perceptions of diversity and equity? How can individuals and society work together to challenge stereotypes and biases in media?




Eligibility & Process

  • Participants must be undergraduate, graduate, or medical students enrolled in at least 6 credits (as of the Summit date) at one of the 5 Northern Nevada intuitions of higher education: DRI, GBC, TMCC, UNR, WNC

  • Students must first sign up with their proposal to participate. This sign-up requires no prepared materials, only participant information and their proposed topic selection.

  • A video submission is due prior to the Summit (see contest timeline, above, for due date). The committee will review video submissions and choose the contest's finalists to present at the Northern Nevada Diversity Summit.

  • Finalists are highly encouraged to present live at the Summit in Reno, NV. However, if you are selected as a finalist and not able to travel to the Summit, please contact Cheyenne Magpantay to discuss virtual options. 

Speech Requirements

  • Must be 5-7 minutes in length

  • Must respond to one of this year's topics (above)

  • Must not include visual aids

  • Only one entry per student allowed

Judging Criteria

Judges selected by the NNDS committee will use objective criteria to rate individual speech competitors. The judging criteria are as follows:

  • Speech development: structure, organization, support material

  • Appropriateness: achievement of purpose, adherence to topic

  • Effectiveness: achievement of purpose, interest, audience reception

  • Speech value: original thought, ideas, logic

  • Manner: directness, assurance, enthusiasm

  • Correctness: grammar, word selection, pronunciation

  • Voice: variation/flexibility, volume

  • Physical: body language, professional appearance


Submissions are due by 11:59pm on Friday, January 12, 2024.

Use the email address, below, to submit your video to the Speech Contest's NV Box drive. You may copy and paste the address into your email provider of choice, or click on the letter icon to open an auto-filled email window.


Submit video


One first-place winner will be selected from each of the Northern Nevada institutions: DRI, GBC, TMCC, UNR, WNC. The award amounts are as follows:

  • First place(s): $500

  • Second place: $300

  • Third place: $150

bottom of page