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Ohio University Southern announces 2024 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. writing contest

The Ohio University Southern Council on Diversity and Inclusion is excited to announce the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Writing Contest for 2024. This contest, open to students in grades 6 through 12 in the Tri-State area, encourages young minds to engage with the inspirational words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and reflect on their relevance in today's world.

Participants are tasked with selecting a quote from the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C., and crafting a creative response in the form of a poem or a short essay. The response should reflect on how the chosen quote applies to their community or personal experiences today.

“Each year it is my honor to help coordinate this writing contest,” said Dr. Hayley Haugen, professor of English at OHIO Southern and one of the contest judges. “The contest provides a wonderful opportunity to encourage young writers to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to share their impressive writing with our community. The judges and I always enjoy reading the submissions and look forward to the poetry the students will generate from this year’s prompt.”

Each student is limited to one entry, which can be submitted to The deadline to submit is Jan. 5, 2024, at 5 p.m. Entries will be judged based on their relevancy to the theme, originality of ideas, clarity of expression, creativity and grammar. Cash prizes ranging from $25 to $100 will be awarded to winners.

“Ohio University Southern has offered this contest for many years now, and while the cash incentive is great, we hope each student who participates will learn about the legacy of Dr. King and, in turn, learn how they can affect change in their own communities,” Robert Pleasant, OHIO Southern director of Student Services, said.

Winning submissions will also be published on the Ohio University Southern website. Additionally, winners will receive a certificate of achievement, an Ohio University t-shirt, and an invitation to attend the Annual Ohio University Southern Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Legacy Awards Reception in January 2024, where they will be publicly recognized for their achievements.

For any questions or additional information, please reach out to Robert Pleasant or Dr. Hayley Haugen.

October 30, 2023
Staff reports