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The Second Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest provided the opportunity for regional youth to thoughtfully consider Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, his mission, and his challenge to, “develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.” Using Dr. King’s legacy as inspiration and in honor of Women’s History Month, youth were challenged to highlight a female activist, past or present, who shares and lives out MLK’s vision. The 2014 Women’s History Month 2014 theme was celebrating women of character, courage, and commitment – qualities that are clearly evident in MLK’s life and work.
Check out the WINNERS in the press release. And read their essays below:
Students in grades 6-12 were encouraged to submit entries and use their creative voices to raise awareness, encourage positivity, and acknowledge girls and women who have made a lasting impact, or are changing the world today, using the following quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s April 1968 “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” for inspiration:
“Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today…the cry is always the same: ‘We want to be free.’ Be concerned about your brother [and sister]… either we go up together, or we go down together. Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness.”
Using the legacy of MLK and quote above as a starting point, select a girl or woman who has lived out Dr. King’s teachings. Use the questions below for guidance:
- How has she lived out Dr. King’s legacy? How has she worked for justice and equality for all?
- What qualities do she and Dr. King share? Why are these qualities important in a leader?
- How has she demonstrated a “kind of dangerous unselfishness” in her life and work?
- What have you learned from MLK and your chosen activist? How will you work towards equality and justice for all people?