MLK Student Essay Competition


“What does the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. presence look like in today’s society?

Would his famous ‘I have a dream’ vision look different in this modern day era?”

DEADLINE IS 5:00 P.M. ON DECEMBER 23rd, 2016

The Division of Equity and Inclusion invites UO undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the 2016 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Paper Competition. Students are invited to submit an essay that was developed for an undergraduate or graduate course at the UO in the last 12 months that demonstrates and embodies Rev. Dr. King’s commitments to peace, justice, and equality.  Submissions may include original research papers, creative writing pieces, or personal essays for courses in any department or discipline.

A committee will award a prize for an outstanding paper at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Faculty are also invited to nominate an outstanding student paper for the competition.  Faculty can send the name, email address, and paper title for one student paper to The selection committee will then invite the student to submit their paper. Nominations are due by December 23rd, 2016.


  • First, and second PRIZES will be awarded in undergraduate and graduate categories valuing up to $200 in gift certificates.
  • Winners will be recognized at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. awards ceremony and celebration on January 18, 2017.

2017 Theme

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”

- ( Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Selection Criteria:

Student papers will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Demonstration and embodiment of Rev. Dr. King’s commitments to peace, justice and equality
  • Overall quality of writing, research, and/or creative expression
  • Originality and creativity of thesis, narrative, and/or argument

Other Guidelines:

  • Participants must be current UO students, enrolled in spring 2016 or fall 2016.
  • Only one submission is allowed per student.
  • Only one student nomination is allowed per faculty member.
  •  Please Note: The submission deadline is 5 PM on December 23rd, 2016.

Guidelines for Paper Submission:

Papers should be submitted as a Word or PDF document and should be emailed by 5 pm on December 23rd, 2016 to

Names, identification numbers, or any other information should not appear in the text of the essays, but should be included on a separate page, with phone and e-mail address.