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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art, Writing & Multimedia Contest

photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission is pleased to hold an annual statewide Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing & Multimedia Contest.  This contest is intended to encourage students to reflect upon Dr. King’s life, philosophy, and impact on the Civil Rights movement and present day America. It is meant to challenge students to think about how civil rights and diversity affect their lives and how they can continue the work of Dr. King in their own way.

All Ohio students in grades 6-12 are invited to enter this contest and may submit one (1) entry per student.  Students may choose which type of entry they wish to submit.  All contest entries must be accompanied by a clearly written official entry form, completed in its entirety. (Submissions are not considered without a completed entry form).


The Ohio Civil Rights Commission is excited to announce the winners of our 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Essay, and Multimedia Contest! The 2022 theme was "Fighting Against Injustice." 

During the civil rights struggles of the 1960's, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leading voice against social injustices. He helped others see that the fight against racism was connected to other injustices because all people are connected to one another. In his renowned essay, "Letter From a Birmingham Jail," Dr. King said:

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Contest Entries: Each participant in the contest is invited to participate by creating work that creatively responds to the following question:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that we must stand up for the rights of all people, not just our own. Describe an event of injustice that you have seen or experienced and explain what you did or would do to fight against that injustice like Dr. King?


2022 Contest Winners:

Essay Winners:
6th Grade Essay: Victoria Gavin - TCP World Academy

7th Grade Essay: Skylar Sachs - West Side Montessori
8th Grade Essay: Zoe Reicheimer-Lee - Granville Middle School
9th Grade Essay: Makayla Arambula - Newton Falls High School

10th Grade Essay: Curtis Ngidari - Dayton Christian High School
11th Grade Essay: Aissata Diallo - Colerain High School
12th Grade Essay: Kiera O'Brien - Steubenville High School

Art Winners:
6th Grade Art: Ivy Berlin - Ballard Brady Middle School

7th Grade Art: Lauren Gasser - Hubbard Middle School
8th Grade Art: Amber Andrews - Hayward Middle School 

9th Grade Art: Emily Clay - Hoover High School
10th Grade Art: Sophia Blondheim - Hoover High School
11th Grade Art: Lillian Bowen - Hoover High School
12th Grade Art: Sophia Murphy - Hoover High School


Questions? Call us at (888) 278-7101


Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award


The 2021 Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award Winner is:

Amanda Ocariz

Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School
Liberty Township, OH



The Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award is given to an Ohio grade 6-12 teacher who demonstrates exemplary dedication to diversity and teaching the lessons of civil rights in the classroom. Any individual may nominate a teacher.

Award Description:

Each recipient of these awards will receive an honorary certificate, a small gift, and recognition at the Ohio Civil Rights Commission’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing and Multimedia Contest awards ceremony.


•  The nominee must be a current or former grade 6-12 teacher at an Ohio school.

Selection Criteria:

Award selection criteria include, but are not limited to:

•  The nominee’s consistent practice of celebrating diversity with students, colleagues, and community members;
•  The nominee’s ability to incorporate the lessons and tenants of the civil rights movement and Ohio’s civil rights laws into the classroom;
•  The nominee’s positive impact on students, particularly in the promotion of academic excellence and community engagement;
•  The nominee's leadership and communication skills;
•  The nominee’s respect and recognition by his/her peers as one who goes above and beyond the normal expectations of a teacher.

Selection Process: 

Nominations will be reviewed by the staff and Commissioners of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. The Commissioners will select the winner based on the above criteria. Awards will be announced in January 2022.

Nomination Process: 

Nominators can respond directly to the questions on the following pages or attach a nomination in letter form. Please limit nomination letters to two typed pages. Nomination forms become the property of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and may be shared with the public and the nominee.

Although nomination questions are geared toward older children and adults, we do encourage input from young nominators as well – feel free to attach young student nominations to the completed form.



For more on the Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award, including previous winners, click here.