This year the MLK Reflection Competition seeks poetry, short stories, art, photography, music, and media as well as essays. The contest is open to staff, students, and faculty/administrators from Case Western Reserve University and Cuyahoga Community College. First and Second place winners will be chosen from the categories of Written and Non-Written expression, and the awarding of Honorable Mentions will be at the discretion of the judges. All winners will be invited to read from and discuss their work at the reception and celebration at Kelvin Smith Library on the Case Western Reserve University campus, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 22nd from 4:00-6:00pm. The reception and celebration are open to the community, so please come support our artists.
If you are interested in participating but do not have time to submit work for the competition, please consider volunteering to help at the reception or serve as a judge! We will need student, staff, and faculty/administrators from both CWRU and Tri-C to help judge, along with volunteers to help set up displays and chairs for the reception and to take things down after. Please send a note indicating your interest in judging or volunteering to MLK-Contest@case.edu by January 15, 2018.
For questions, please contact:
For ALL written submissions, please use a readable 12pt font in either Word (.doc or .docx) or .pdf format. Essays should be double-spaced with 1″ margins. With all submissions, please include:
All submissions must be emailed to MLK-Contest@case.edu by February 1, 2018 at 5pm.
Essays, interviews, and short stories:
For ALL non-written submissions, please include a brief text that states:
You are welcome to include a short description of the work and your intent, although it is not required. All submissions must be emailed to MLK-Contest@case.edu by February 1, 2018 at 5pm.
Art and photography:
Using one of the prompts below, please reflect on how messages from Dr. King, Shirley Anita Chisholm, and Marian Wright Edelman continue to impact our current movements towards civil rights. You may focus on how those movements and issues relate specifically to Cleveland, the nation, or the world. Submissions are also encouraged to consider how these ideas and messages can be extended to all aspects of human diversity and identity, including LGBTQIA+, ability, socioeconomic class, gender, and particularly how those identities intersect.
“Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society.”
His critique is relevant to contemporary conversations about the value of higher education, what role education plays in individual lives, and the value of education in our society. How does King’s view of education here inform your own experience with learning and participating in society? How do his words inform our current debates about the value of the college experience?
You might also find cause for reflection in these words, with which he introduces the subject of his remarks:
“Now the first thing that we must do is to develop within ourselves a deep sense of somebodyness. Don’t let anybody make you feel that you are nobody because the minute one feels that way he is incapable of rising to his full maturity as a person” (3:17-3:45).
“Discrimination against women, solely on the basis of their sex, is so widespread that [it] seems to many persons normal, natural and right. Legal expression of prejudice on the grounds of religious or political belief has become a minor problem in our society. Prejudice on the basis of race is, at least, under systematic attack. There is reason for optimism that it will start to die with the present older generation. It is time we act to assure full equality of opportunity to those citizens who, although in a majority, suffer the restrictions that are commonly imposed on minorities, to women.”
“The argument that this amendment will not solve the problem of sex discrimination is not relevant. If the argument were used against a civil rights bill, as it has been used in the past, the prejudice that lies behind it would be embarrassing. Of course laws will not eliminate prejudice from the hearts of human beings. But that is no reason to allow prejudice to continue to be enshrined in our laws – to perpetuate injustice through inaction.”
“The greatest threat to America’s security does not come from any enemy without but from our enemy within, and our failure to protect and invest in all of our children. We can change that, and we must change that, and we need your voice.”
“What I hope is you will stand up when children are mistreated. I hope you will stand up when you see unequal opportunities for children in your communities and in your nation. And when you see unjust policies, stand up and fight back. They need to hear from you.”
“I want to end with a prayer to the God of children:
O God of the children of Syria and Sudan, of Iraq, Iran and Israel, of Nigeria, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and of the West Bank and Gaza, because we believe in the God of all children, wherever they are,
Of Chicago, Cleveland, Darfur and Detroit and Ferguson,
Help us to step up to the plate and make sure that they are safe and protected,
Of Libya, Yemen and Ukraine, England and Turkey,
Help us to love and respect and protect them all.“