Deadline for MLK Writing Contest is Friday, February 15

For Immediate Release: 
Jan 13 2008

CONTACT: Nancy Ellison, Director of Multicultural Affairs

Deadline for MLK Writing Contest is Friday, February 15

Athens, W.Va. – The Office of Multicultural Affairs at Concord University announces the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest. The competition, open to area high school, middle school and elementary school students, focuses on celebrating the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther , Jr., and the deadline is Friday, February 15, 2008.

The intent is to provide students with an opportunity to learn about Dr. King; his message and his work and to give them an opportunity to reflect on the present and the future in light of Dr. King’s message. “We hope to help students continue their lives and education with a permanent appreciation for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Nancy Ellison, director of multicultural affairs. “We hope this contest will motivate students to study his life and his work.”

A panel of Concord University faculty, staff and community members will judge the competition. First and second place winners are required to attend the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.

A $50 savings bond and a $25 gift certificate to Wal-Mart will be given to the first place winner in the high school, middle school and elementary divisions. The second place winner in each division will receive a $50 gift certificate and a $10 gift certificate to Wal-Mart.

The theme for all essays will focus on the power of the vote. August 6, 2005, marked the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, which has been called the single most effective civil rights legislation ever enacted by Congress. Efforts like the 15-year-old Rock the Vote campaign are trying to get young people, ages 18-24, to vote as a block to dramatically impact national elections. We ask students to express their feelings about the power of the vote, a fundamental component of democracy. Students should exhibit a broad command of this issue and express themselves in a way that could influence at least one person of voting age who does not currently vote, to do so. All entrants should read Dr. King’s speech, Give Us the Ballot-We Will Transform the South, May 17, 1957. A cover sheet that includes the student’s name, home mailing address and telephone number and the name of the student’s school must be attached to the essay.

The elementary division is both a poster contest and a slogan contest. Posters will be selected that best capture the essence of Dr. King’s accomplishments or vision of equality for all. Posters should be no smaller than 8 ½ by 11 inches and no larger than 17 by 11 inches. Students may draw, paint or use construction paper cut-outs, etc. to create a poster. The student’s name should appear on the back of the poster along with the school name, grade and teacher’s name. The slogan that best captures the inspiration of Dr. King will be used as the theme for the 2008 celebration at Concord University. It must be eight words or fewer. The following information should be clearly printed on the back of the entry: Student’s name and teacher’s name; grade; school; which contest, either slogan or poster.

This contest is sponsored by a grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. For more information, contact Director of Multicultural Affairs, Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or


CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679, extension 6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.