High school students are ready to take the podium for the ninth annual Eleanor Stem Allen Memorial Speech Contest. The event, hosted by the American Association of University Women Big Bear Valley Branch, is at

6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at Hofert Hall in Big Bear Lake.

The public is encouraged to attend this free event.

The topic is “Are Men and Women Truly Equal Today, or are the Suffragists of 1920 stil Suffering in 2020?” Contestants prepare and deliver a

5- to 6-minute original speech exploring steps women, men, the media, work places, military, communities and organizations such as AAUW can do to ensure and sustain equality for women and men. Speakers compete for cash prizes, recognition and the opportunity to advance to the state level.

For more information about the Big Bear Valley Branch of the AAUW, visit bigbearvalley-ca.aauw.net.

Hofert Hall is inside the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center, 39707 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake.

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