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).


2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art, Essay, and Multimedia Contest

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission submission period is open for our 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Essay, and Multimedia Contest is now closed. Contest winners will be announced by email (to entrants) and on this page in late January 2019.

This year's theme is "the journey is not complete." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to leading the advances of civil rights through inspirational words and nonviolent actions. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for leading the Civil Rights Movement in the United States through his dedication and devotion for equality. Through his activism and actions, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. played an important role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the United States. Dr. King’s work influenced many, including his son Martin Luther King III. On the 50th Anniversary of his father’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King III said:

This task is not done. The journey is not complete. We can do and must do more.”

His words remind us that part of Dr. King’s legacy is to never stop fighting for justice and equality.

Contest Entries: Dr. King did many great things and inspired many to continue to fight for civil rights, but the journey to equality and justice is not complete. Each participant in the art contest is invited to participate by creating work that creatively responds to the following question:

What more can or will you do to continue Dr. Martin Luther King’s fight for equality and justice?

For 2019 Contest Rules and the Official Entry Form, Click Here.

The 2019 MLK Contest Deadline was December 21, 2018

All entries were required to be emailed or received by mail no later than December 21, 2018 at 5:00 PM. Please factor in holiday shipping times when choosing shipping options.


Questions? Call us at (888) 278-7101

Excellence in Teaching Diversity Award

Click here for the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Diversity nomination form 

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 2018.

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.

2019 Deadline: 

Nominations may be emailed by 8:00 am on November 2, 2018, or may be mailed to the following address. Mailed nominations must be postmarked by November 2, 2018.

Ohio Civil Rights Commission

Attn: PACE

30 E. Broad St., 5th Floor

Columbus, OH 43215



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