2008 MLK Holiday Celebration Essay/Poster Contest


We are inviting students in grades 3 through 6 and 7 through 12 to participate in our efforts to keep Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. Legacy alive by encouraging them to participate in this year’s essay/poster contest. All Submission(s) need to be received no later than January 10, 2008. Contest winners and their families are encouraged to attend the King Rally/Celebration at both Central High School (where participants will be recognized) and Concordia University’s Ganglehoff Auditorium, where finalists and winners will be announced. Winners will be awarded significant prizes, as their work helps contribute greatly to our community’s understanding of Dr. King. This year’s Celebration theme is “Education: Every Mind A Treasure to be Tapped” – an examination of the extent to which the communities of color, have achieved this goal.

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up”.

The statement above is an excerpt from the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech of Dr. King’s delivered on December 10, 1964.

General guidelines:

Children of all cultures are encouraged to participate in this contest. We ask students to express their feelings about the power of education, (the fundamental component of their human rights), through this essay and poster project. Students should exhibit a broad command of this issue and express themselves in a way that could influence at least one person. Winning entries will be judged on a variety of factors including message, creativity, originality and inclusion of Dr. King and/or the messages for which he stood. Students must reference copy written materials. Submissions will not be returned. Finalist/winners will be displayed.

Students must attach (staple preferred) the 2008 MLK contest submission form to their entry. In keeping with Dr. King’s messages of inclusiveness, social and racial justice, respect for others and dignity, submissions that include profanity and/or language inconsistent with Dr. King’s philosophy will be automatically disqualified. Award winners may need to provide their social security numbers.

Essay Contest:

Each student (in grades 7 through 12) may submit one original essay, between 400 to 700 words, explaining the power of education and the goals that people of color have made because of the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essays may be typed or handwritten, but any essay that is illegible, plagiarized, and/or unduly long will be disqualified. Pages must be single-sided and numbered, with the student’s name appearing on the top of each page.

Poster Contest:

Each student in (grades 3 through 6) may submit one original poster no larger 17″ x 22″ using any of the following materials, but not limited to: crayons, pencil, colored pencils, charcoal, chalk, water paint, or collage format. The presentation should explain the power of education and the goals that people of color have made because of the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The student’s name, school, phone numbers must appear on the back of the poster.

Entries must be delivered to the Office of the Council of Black Minnesotans, with entry form by 5:00 p.m. on January 10, 2008. For more information or clarification, please call contact Yvonne Wells-Ellis, Essay/Poster Contest Chair at ywellsellis01@hamline.edu or the Council on Black Minnesotans office line 651-643-3014. Or mail to:

Council on Black Minnesotans
Wright Bldg., Suite 426
2233 University Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55114