MLK Jr. Essay Contest
Monday, November 4, 2013 6:25 AM


The Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights, the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, Minneapolis City Council, and the Minneapolis Mayor are pleased to present the 2014 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest. This contest is open to all Minneapolis students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

Students are asked to write or type an original essay in English addressing this year's topic. The essay should contain proper spelling and grammar.

The topic for this year's contest is:

On August 28th, 1963, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Dr. King) delivered his I Have A Dream speech. Please read this speech. Use this essay as an opportunity to reflect upon the importance of that speech when it was delivered and its continued relevance 50 years later.

Please choose one or more of the following topics for your essay:

-In what ways has Dr. King’s vision for the future been realized?

-What do you think Dr. King would think about the status of civil rights today?

-Reflect upon and describe the current state of civil rights in Minneapolis and in the United States.

-What is your dream for the future of civil rights?

Please include reference to MLK Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in your essay. Any reference to other primary or secondary sources must be properly cited. While Dr. King’s message emphasized civil rights issues related to race, feel free to discuss any issue which you feel is relevant to civil rights.

Essays may be from one to three pages in length and address the selected topic. Completed entry forms with parent's signature must be attached to the back of the essay. All submissions are due by December 9th, 2013.

Teachers can request a member of the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights to visit their classroom and to assist students with the essay topic. To request a visit, please contact the commissioner listed at the bottom of this letter.

Additional packets can be found on the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights website

The contest winners will receive a gift card to Barnes and Noble to be awarded at a ceremony before the Minneapolis City Council in February 2014.

First Place $ 300.00

Second Place $ 200.00

Third Place $ 100.00

There will be a reception after the award ceremony to honor the winners. Teachers, parents, educators and others are invited to attend. Students will have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights members, Minneapolis City Council 3 members and Mayor Rybak. Interviews may be requested by the media. The first place winners will have an opportunity to read a portion of their essay at the awards ceremony.

Completed Essays should be returned no later than Friday December 9th, 2013 to:

Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights

Attention: Lee Zutz, MCCR Liaison

350 South 5th Street, Room 239

Minneapolis, MN 55415

All contest winners will be notified by January 17, 2014. There will be three winners chosen from each grade level. Your participation in this event is appreciated. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns at 612-348-8216.



Bernadette Genis Casey

Commissioner, Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights