Submit your work to the Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest for chance to win up to $300

Winter break is a perfect time to write an essay for the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest before the Monday, Jan. 4, 5 p.m. deadline.

This year, the MLK Week theme is “The Urgency of Then and Now,” and the contest’s theme reflects on King’s influence on the city of Cleveland and how his message of equality for all people can be extended to embrace other civil rights movements.

Prizes will be given in each category: students, staff and faculty/administrators. Winners will be recognized at the MLK Convocation at CWRU Friday, Jan. 22, at 12:30 p.m. The first place winner will be awarded $300 and a copy of one of Dr. King’s books.

In celebration of Black History Month, winning essays will be displayed at Kelvin Smith Library through February. Winners will be invited to read from their work at a reception Feb. 26 at 4 p.m.

All entries must be submitted in Word (.doc or .docx) or .pdf format to by Jan. 4 at 5 p.m.

For detailed guidelines, including writing prompts, visit

Contact Lisa Nielson, Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow, at with questions.

This year’s contest and celebration is sponsored by Cleveland Humanities Collaborative, Voices from the Village, Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, Kelvin Smith Library, the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.