Nova Star Spoken Word Scholarship

The Department of Access, Compliance, and Equal Opportunity and the Juneteenth Celebration Committee are excited to announce the third annual Juneteenth Nova Star Scholarship Showcase as part of our 2024 university-wide Juneteenth celebration. In addition to inviting the FIU student community to serve as showcase participants, we also announced we now also offered the inaugural Nova Star Spoken Word Scholarship. Spoken word is an important historical aspect of the African and African Diasporic creative tradition and has the power to inspire both thought and action. 

All interested, currently enrolled, degree-seeking students attending Florida International University—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other social and personal identities— were welcome to submit their work for consideration. This year's theme prompted us to "Celebrate, Educate, and Heal". FIU's week-long Juneteenth events are meant to celebrate the crucial connection between the African Diaspora, cultural achievement, and intellectual pursuits.

Those participating in the Nova Star Spoken Word Competition were eligible for one of the following two scholarships if selected as finalists:

Nova-Star Griot: $1000
Nove-Star Jaliyaa: $500
  • Eligibility Requirements

    Submission Format:

    • Typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and 12-point Times New Roman font. 
    • The overall length of the spoken word piece must range from 500-700 words.
    • Each page must be numbered at the bottom and include the title of the submission at the top of the page. 
    • Your name and Panther ID number (PID) must be included at the top left corner of the first page. 
    • All written submissions must be converted to PDF format prior to uploading.


    • The work of the two selected finalists will be considered based on its creativity and resonance, as well as its interpretation of this year's theme.
    • The top two written submissions will be selected to be performed during the 2024 Juneteenth week of events. 

    Eligibility Requirements:

    • Must be enrolled as a full-time student at FIU
    • Must have a minimum GPA of 2.75
    • Must be in good academic and conduct standing with the university
    • Must have completed at least one full semester at FIU
    • Must be available during the Juneteenth celebration event.

2023 Nova Star Spoken Word Scholarship Winners


First-Place: Lathalia Faison - "What Does it Feel Like?" 

  • Computer Science 
  • Third-Year Student

Runner-Up: Andrew Ruby - "Lotion"

  • English (Writing & Rhetoric)
  • Fourth-Year Student