The Center for Baptist Heritage & Studies uses two purposes in our focus on Baptist heritage: “Remembering the Past. . .Imagining the Future.” These two purposes help us focus on the importance of our heritage while always holding onto the legacy we will leave for future Baptists. In the essay contest theme for 2013 you can draw from our country's history - "remembering the past" - from slavery, emancipation, segregation, civil rights - in order to set the stage for "imagining the future," in which you share your ideas of how our nation can achieve racial reconciliation on the 150th anniversary of emancipation, in our time in history. Note: Students who live within an easy distance of Richmond might want to visit the Virginia Baptist Historical Society and tour its exhibit "free indeed!" which covers the trials and triumphs of Virginia's enslaved and the relationships between the races in the Baptist churches of Virginia prior to emancipation. The Virginia Baptist Historical Society also has published a book on the subject entitled "free indeed!" - see elsewhere on this Website for information on securing the book. Students also could visit their school and public library for books on the history of race relations in the United States.