2018 MLK Jr. Essay and Art Contest
November 06, 2017
To commemorate the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., University of Idaho undergraduates, graduates and professional students enrolled for the spring semester are invited to write an essay or create an artistic piece in the medium of their choice in response to a prompt about equality and social, racial and ethnic justice.
Entries are due on January 31, 2018. Scholarships in the amount of $500 will be awarded for the best entry in each of four categories; $50 honorable mention scholarships will also be awarded in each category. Winners will be announced at Shades of Black on Feb. 10, 2018. Full details and a writing prompt on the contest theme are on the Ubuntu website.
This year's topic is on role of resilience in creating community and justice. "In a time of anxiety and polarization, the quality of resilience becomes especially important in preventing paralysis and despair," said Ubuntu chair Jan Johnson. "When we think about Dr. King and the many challenges he faced, resilience in the face of adversity quickly comes to mind," Johnson added. "We strongly encourage students to contribute to the important conversation going on in our country about how to work toward equality and justice."
Ubuntu is the University of Idaho's guiding philosophy that emphasizes the interconnectedness of being human and living in interdependent communities. We place a high premium on dignity, compassion, humaneness and respect for humanity and each other — every member of our university community. The committee focuses on the needs of students, staff and faculty to enhance the experience of academic and work life with particular attention to under-represented groups on campus.
Prompt: "If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Resilience is the ability to adapt to and move beyond the effects of internal and external stressors, maintaining psychological wellbeing in the face of adversity. It is the unique ability to "bounce back" from difficult or traumatic experiences. Resilience is not an innate characteristic—it involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed. Resilience is about managing crises or stressful situations, turning divisions into opportunities for unity, and retaining strength of purpose. Being resilient is about recognizing and leveraging the strengths that perhaps we never knew we had, until we have to draw upon them. The more we practice, the more resilient we become.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a model of resilience, continually turning crises into opportunities for action, and bringing polarized groups together to work towards a common goal. Using the theme of resilience, write an essay, poem, or create an art piece that describes concrete strategies for creating and fostering resilient communities that are adaptable to change, promote common goals, and that ensure the wellbeing, safety, and inclusion of all.
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu