Concord Announces Deadline for Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Contest

For Immediate Release: 
Nov 16 2005

Concord Announces Deadline for Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Contest

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. The deadline is Friday, January 6, 2006.

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 on January 16 at Concord and present their work.

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.

All high school and middle school entrants are encouraged to read Dr. King’s letter from the Birmingham jail and the biography of Joan Browning found at Ms. Browning will be the keynote speaker for the celebration.

The theme for all essays will focus on Dr. King’s letter from the Birmingham jail in which he said “nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue.” Students should respond to Dr. King’s words and reflect on Ms. Browning’s experience as they relate to today’s world. What is the best way to speak out against injustice so that you can change the situation for the better?

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 2006 celebration at Concord University. It must be eight (8) words or less.

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.