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Mississippi State University 2015 MLK Writing Contest

Winners will receive the following:

1st Place: $1000/plaque
2nd Place: $500/plaque
3rd Place: $250/plaque

Winners will have an opportunity to have lunch with MSU President, Dr. Mark E. Keenum.

The first place winner will have 5 minutes to present their essay at the breakfast.

Essay Prompt

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. employed strategies of moral persuasion and non-violent protest to bring about social justice for African Americans during the modern civil rights movement. Describe some of the ways in which the enduring legacy of Dr. King survives today. More specifically, how does his legacy of social justice and non-violent change continue to resonate in American culture and society?

Deadline for Submission

  • December 31, 2014
  • Winners will be notified January 9, 2015

Guidelines for Submission

In order to qualify for submission, essays must follow these guidelines.

  1. Participants should be enrolled in high school (9-12th) in Mississippi.
  2. Essays must be no more than 1000 words or 2-3 pages in length.
  3. Essays must be typed and double spaced with every page numbered.
  4. The first page of the essay should include a heading on the top left corner of the page that displays the student's name, the school he/she attends, and the student's grade level and the student's contact information (i.e. email address, phone number).
  5. If primary or secondary sources are used, the student will need to properly cite these sources and included a works cited page.
  6. Essays must respond in some meaningful way to the assigned prompt.
  7. Students and school officials will be notified of the results of the contest by January 9, 2015.
  8. The first place essay will be read at the Mississippi State University Annual King Day Breakfast to be held at MSU on January 19, 2015 in the Colvard Student Union.
  9. Please contact Dr. Tommy Stevenson at 662.325.2493 or if you have any questions.
2012 MLK Unity Breakfast - Writing Competition WinnersWinners of the first annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Competition with MSU President Dr. Mark E. Keenum and Gov. Winter; The top three were Leah Gibson (2nd from left), Elsie Madison (center), and Ryan Lawrence (4th from left)
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