Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration

A MILWAUKEE TRADITION FOR MORE THAN 3 DECADES!

Keeping the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive!
38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration
The City-wide celebration will be January 17, 2022.


This year's Dr. Martin Luther King Contests focus: "We Must Speak."


The Marcus Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee celebrates Dr. King’s Birthday annually since 1984. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration programming highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King’s words through art, speech, and writing contests.


"Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak.  We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate, but we must speak."
 -  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Time to Break Silence
4 April 1967; New York City.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an activist committed to peace, justice, and equality.  Dr. King’s essential thoughts on nonviolence, social policy, integration, black nationalism, the ethics of love and hope, and his many testimonies have resonated over the past 38 years through the voices of our youth.

For the 2021 preliminary contests, educators are asked to familiarize students with Dr. King’s beliefs, words, and actions, focusing on this year’s theme. As students prepare their notable artwork, creative writings and eloquent speeches have them reflect and write about how it relates to themselves or others in their families, schools, neighborhoods, or world.

2021 Dr. King Jr. Art Contest: We Must Speak

THIS YEAR'S THEME IS "WE MUST SPEAK".

All entries must be submitted by 5pm on Friday, December 3, 2021.

Entries submitted after 5pm will not be considered for prizes.
Judging will be done on Monday December 6th, 2021.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Anthony Smith, Contest Coordinator asmith@marcuscenter.org

ELIGIBILITY FOR THE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. ART CONTEST:
The art contest is open to all students in grades K-12. There are four grade level categories:

  • Grades K-2: individual entries
  • Grades 3-5: individual entries
  • Grades 6-8: individual entries
  • Grades 9-12: individual entries

JUDGING GUIDLINES:
The entries will be judged on a point system, with the following criteria considered:

  • Entries should clearly express creative ideas representing contest them
  • Entries must not be a photocopy or tracing of an existing photo of Dr. King.
  • Entries should showcase students ability level. 

In judging entries, emphasis will be placed on clarity, creativity, and originality. Teachers are encouraged to help students understand the historical context of Dr. King’s words and actions, see the relevance of these words and actions in their artwork, and become familiar with Dr. King’s life and values. We recommend utilizing the resources of MPS school libraries and the Milwaukee Public Libraries.

PRIZES:

First, second, and third place art contest winners will receive an engraved plaque and a prize valued up to $100.

All entries must be submitted by 5pm on Friday, December 3, 2021.
Entries submitted after 5pm will not be considered for prizes.
Judging will be done on Monday December 6th, 2021.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Anthony Smith, Contest Coordinator asmith@marcuscenter.org

Visit here for more information and to register for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Art Contest 2021-22

2021 Dr. King Jr. Writing Contest: We Must Speak

THIS YEAR'S THEME IS "WE MUST SPEAK".

All entries must be submitted to
THIS LINK by 5pm on Monday, November 22, 2021.

Entries submitted after 5pm will not be considered for prizes.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an activist committed to peace, justice, and equality. As a visionary leader of the civil rights movement, King fought for racial and economic justice for the oppressed. His driving forces were nonviolence, love, the importance of family and self-respect.

This year’s theme is “We Must Speak,” from Dr. King’s address “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” given at New York’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967.

“And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but We Must Speak.”

Students can reflect on these words and how they relate to themselves or others in their families, schools, neighborhoods or the world.

Submissions are due Monday, November 22, by 5:00 pm.

ELIGIBILITY/CATEGORIES: 
The writing contest is open to students in grades K-12 who live in the city of Milwaukee, or are enrolled in a school, either public or private, within the city of Milwaukee. Other districts plan to participate. If you would like to know if your district is participating please contact your district’s administrative offices. 

There are seven grade level categories: 

  • K-1: group project only (no individual essays), reflecting children’s work and ideas
  • Grades 2-3: individual entries, maximum length 250 words
  • Grades 4-5: individual entries, maximum length 350 words
  • Grade 6: individual entries, maximum length 400 words
  • Grades 7-8: individual entries, maximum length 450 words
  • Grades 9-10: individual entries, maximum length 500 words
  • Grades 11-12: individual entries, maximum length 550 words 

Entries must stay within word limitations for their grade level, otherwise the essay will be disqualified.

JUDGING:
The entries will be judged on a point system, with the following criteria considered: 

  • Entries must address the theme.
  • Entries should relate the student’s own personal ideas, work and experiences to the topic and show an understanding of Dr. King’s ideals.
  • Entries must not be a biographical sketch of Dr. King.
  • Entries will be judged on the basis of clearly expressed, creative ideas and ability level. In judging entries, emphasis will be placed on clarity, creativity, and originality. Correct usage of basic grammar and writing skills will also be considered. 

Teachers are encouraged to help students understand the historical context of Dr. King’s words and actions, see the relevance of these words and actions in their world today, and become familiar with Dr. King’s life and values.

We recommend utilizing the resources of MPS school libraries and the Milwaukee Public Libraries. 

PRIZES/RECOGNITION:
First, second, and third place writing contest winners will receive an engraved plaque and a prize valued up to $100. 

Entry Delivery Information 
All entries must be submitted to THIS LINK by 5pm on Monday, November 22, 2021.

Entries submitted after 5pm will not be considered for prizes.

Questions/Concerns 
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Donelle Johnson, Contest Coordinator, at 414-445-5635 or donellejohnson@aol.com.

Click here to view or download the contest pdf.

Visit here for more information and to register for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Contest 2021-22

2021 Dr. King Jr. Speech Contest: We Must Speak

THIS YEAR'S THEME IS "WE MUST SPEAK".

DEADLINE:
Entries must be sent online by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021.

GOAL:

Strengthen students’ reading, writing and public speaking skills while encouraging them to learn about and support the dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

GUIDELINES:

  • Open to K-12 students.
  • One speech entry per grade-level category per school. Each school should establish a procedure to determine their entry for each grade level category.
  • Speeches must be written and delivered by the student speaker. Use of notes is optional.
  • Speeches are timed and must not exceed four minutes.
  • Students must use the theme: "We must speak."

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate but We Must Speak.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; A Time to Break Silence; 4 April 1967; New York City.

  • Student behavior should be attentive, courteous and supportive at all times.
  • Speakers are judged using the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest Judging Criteria.

VIRTUAL PRELIMINARIES:
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021
Sponsored by Milwaukee Public Schools

Grade-level category times (Only one entry per grade level category per school.)

K-2 @ 8:30 a.m.
3-4 @ 9:30 a.m.
5-6 @ 10:30 a.m.
7-8 @ 11:30 a.m.
9-10 @ 12:30 p.m.
11-12  @ 1:30 p.m.

VIRTUAL FINALS:
Saturday, Dec 11, 2021
Sponsored by We Energies

Top five speakers from each grade level category qualify for finals.

Virtual Milwaukee King Celebration
Monday, Jan. 17, 2022
Sponsored by Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

  • First-place winners from each grade-level category deliver their speeches.
  • All first, second, and third-place winners are recognized during the virtual awards ceremony for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.
     

Click here to view or download the contest pdf.

Visit here for more information and to apply for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech Contest 2021-22

2021 Dr. King’s Birthday Celebration was virtually streamed.

The Marcus Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee celebrates Dr. King’s Birthday annually since 1984. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration programming highlights the youth in our community who every year interpret Dr. King’s words through art, speech, and writing contests.

Please click on the video below to watch last year's event.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an activist committed to peace, justice, and equality.
As a visionary leader of the civil rights movement, King fought for racial and economic justice for the oppressed. His driving forces were nonviolence, love, the importance of family and self-respect.

  • Dr King Jr Birthday Celebration at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee
  •  Dr. King Jr Birthday Celebration at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee
  • Dr. King Jr Birthday Celebration at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee
  • Dr. King Jr Birthday Celebration at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee

MULTI-Cultural organizations celebrating and remembering

In addition, various cultural arts organizations demonstrate the excellence of our arts community.

Talent, Talent, Talent

Some of the groups celebrating with us have included United Indians of Milwaukee, Latino Arts Strings, Milwaukee Flyers Tumbling Team, O.N.F.Y.A.H, MPS’ Milwaukee High School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble, Majestic Community Choir and more!

The event concludes with the Paulette Y. Copeland Reception in the Atrium.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

CONTEST SPONSORS

VIDEOS SCHOOL AGE - ELEMENTARY

KEEP MOVING - Martin Luther King, jr

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. by Kid President

My Daddy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - MLK Day! (Animated) Black History Month Video

I Am Martin Luther King Jr by Brad Meltzer | Books Read Aloud| StoryTime With Ms. Melange

VIDEOS SCHOOL AGE - SECONDARY

Martin Luther King "If I had Sneezed"

If you can't fly then run - I have a dream - Martin Luther King jr

MLK: The Other America

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: Biography for Children, American History for Kids - Free School

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. - April 4, 1967 - Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence [Full Speech]

Steering Committee

Chairs:
Janan Najeeb, Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition


Event Producer:
Martha Love, Martha Love Association


Organizing Committee:
Teon Austin, Cardinal Stritch University
Nuntiata Buck, MPS
Ingrid Walker-Henry, MTEA
Laura Jackson, West Bend School DistrictVanessa Koster, City of Milwaukee
Donelle Johnson, Community Volunteer/Writing Contest Founder
John Knudson, MTEA
Amy Mizialdo, MTEA
Alexis Peterson, City of Milwaukee
Nasif Rogers, Wauwatosa School District
Karen Ryan, We Energies
Barseana Simond, West Bend School District
Anthony Smith, MCPA
Mallori Taylor, MCPA
Amy Wayd, MPS

 

Thank you for your service!