OUS plans MLK essay contest

Published 3:20 pm Friday, November 24, 2017

Submissions due Jan. 5

Ohio University Southern will have its annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest.

Students in grades 6-12 from around the tri-state are invited to submit a personal “I Am” essay.

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In a speech at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Oct. 15, 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed, “I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.”

“At Ohio University Southern, we are inspired by Dr. King and his message,” said Robert Pleasant, associate director of student resource commons. He added that OUS’ “I AM…” series provides an opportunity to learn and understand each other.

“Our stories and experiences are unique and important. By sharing them, we break down barriers that divide us,” Pleasant said. “No matter what labels are assigned to us, and no matter what ideals we may hold, we are all a shared humanity that is, as Dr. King said, ‘tied to a single garment of destiny.’”

The criteria for students wanting to submit an “I Am” essay is to focus on an aspect of their personality, cultural heritage, value or any other aspect of their identity to communicate with others about themselves.
Some essay subject suggestions include if the student has ever been stereotyped because they play an instrument or sports, if they have ever been discriminated against because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, or physical abilities.

“Who are you? Write this essay to help communicate who you are and your unique role in your community,” Pleasant said.

The submission deadline is 5 p.m. on Jan. 5.

A committee made up of OUS faculty, staff, and students will evaluate the essays. Decisions of the evaluation committee are final.

Complete contest rules and submission instructions are online at www.ohio.edu/southern/events/mlk.cfm.