A fall community event, with a dark blue overlay

MLK Day Essay Contest

The Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights, the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, the 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 9th, 10th, and 11th 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:

Jokes or comments are commonly made, both accidentally and intentionally, at the expense of certain groups of people. Some individuals and organized groups actively work to stop hurtful speech. What could you do to stop these stereotypical/hurtful comments?

Provide at least 2 specific examples of how language results in the violation of or protection of human rights. Be sure to identify the message, who it is from, who it affects and how it affects them. Reference the United States’ Constitution, the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights or the United States Bill of Rights in your answer. 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 January 19th, 2015.

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 http://www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights/commission/civil-rights_commission_announcements

You can also click here for the 2015 Parent Consent Form.

All contest winners will be notified by February, 2015. There will be three winners chosen from each grade level.

The contest winners will receive a gift card to be awarded at a ceremony before the Minneapolis City Council in the spring of 2015.

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 members and Mayor Hodges. 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 Monday January 19th, 2015 to:

Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights
Attention: Lee Zutz, MCCR Liaison
350 South 5th Street, Room 239
Minneapolis, MN 55415
[email protected]

mlk essay contest