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MLK. Jr. Commemoration Society Winners


Posted Date: 01/17/2022

MLK. Jr. Commemoration Society Winners

Union had the 3rd place winner in the MLK Oratorical Contest, Makayla Goode of Union High School. 

MLK, Jr. Commemoration Society congratulates winners of student art, dance, essay and oratorical contests

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Society is pleased to announce the Tulsa-area students who won art, dance, essay and oratorical contests in conjunction with the Tulsa MLK Parade that will take place on Monday, January 17, 2022. This year marks the 43rd Anniversary of the parade, with the theme “Hope and Action: The Fierce Urgency of Now.”

Student contest winners are as follows: 

  • Youth Art Contest: Students in grades K-6 were asked to create an illustration based on one of three themes that characterizes Dr. King’s life and work – Love, Peace or Unity – and what the theme means to them. All three winning drawings are showcased in the 2022 MLK Souvenir Book. 
    • 1st Place ($175):  Anahy Simon Garcia, 6th grade, McKinley Elementary;
    • 2nd Place ($125):  Moriah McMahan, 5th grade, Eugene Field Elementary;
    • 3rd Place ($75):  Ryelle Frazier, 1st grade, Solid Foundation Preparatory Arts Academy; and
    • 4th Place ($75): Andan Vo, 3rd grade, Solid Foundation Preparatory Arts Academy. 
  • Interpretive Dance of Peace Contest: Individuals and team ensembles (ages 18 and younger) were encouraged to create and perform an interpretive dance with the theme of “Peace.” Dancers were judged based on accuracy, showmanship, choreography and performance. The 1st Place winner, receiving a $500 award, is Nzinga Collins, a 9th grade student at Will Rogers High School.
  • Essay Contest:  Middle school students (grades 6-8) were asked to write a 350-500 word essay on the topic, “I live my life as a reflection of Dr. King’s dream by . . .”  Essays were judged based on originality/creativity, clarity, use of facts or specific examples and other criteria. Their essays are published in the 2021 MLK Souvenir Book.  Prizes were awarded as follows: 
    • 1st Place ($250):  Sophie Gray, 8th grade, Carver Middle School; 
    • 2nd Place ($225):  Whitney Smith, 8th grade, Carver Middle School;
    • 3rd Place ($200):  Silas Barbour, 8th grade, Carver Middle School; 
    • 4th Place ($175): Maya Barki, 8th grade, Carver Middle School; and
    • 5th Place ($150): William Nettleship, 8th grade, Carver Middle School.
  • Oratorical Contest:  High school students (grades 9-12) were asked to memorize Dr. King’s iconic “I have a dream” speech for a chance to showcase their oratorical skills. Contestants were judged on clarity, quality, delivery, stage presence and memorization skills. Prizes were awarded to the following:
    • 1st Place ($1,000):  Harini Senthil, 9th grade, Jenks High School; view her winning speech here
    • 2nd Place ($500):  Jamaica Reed, 11th grade, Will Rogers High School; and
    • 3rd Place ($350):  Makayla Goode, 11th grade, Union High School.

Harini Senthil, the 1st Place winner, will perform Dr. King’s speech for ONE Gas employees at a special virtual Martin Luther King, Jr. event on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2002. ONE Gas is the official sponsor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest. She will also present the speech at the Sunday Commemorative Service on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, 1301 S. Boston Ave., in Tulsa.

  • “Dream Out Loud” Student Award and Scholarship:  This award is presented to a high school student who has demonstrated leadership, academic excellence and a commitment to the message and values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Josiah Rhodes, a senior at Will Rogers High School, is the winner of this $500 scholarship. He is active in varsity wrestling and attends Tulsa Tech’s criminal justice program on the Peoria campus. Upon graduation, Josiah plans to attend college and pursue a degree in criminal justice. His ultimate career goal is to become a special agent or forensic accountant with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He sees a career in law enforcement as an opportunity to help his local community and change the public perception of law enforcement by serving as an example to others. According to Josiah, his criminal justice instructors, Michael Brown and Vanessa Ellison, have reinforced his desire to serve in law enforcement, and he is excited about his future. The “Dream Out Loud” Award is presented annually by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Society and Tulsa Tech

Sponsors of MLK Student Awards include PepsiCo, ONE Gas and Boston Avenue United Methodist Church.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Society, Inc. is a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based   501(c) (3) nonprofit organization focused on honoring and preserving the works and ideals that Dr. King practiced. The society has provided programming, leadership development, civic engagement and opportunities for artistic expression involving more than 20,000 boys and girls in Tulsa County and the surrounding area since it was founded in 1978. The Society has awarded $102,000 in scholarships over the past three decades to local high school graduates aspiring to achieve Dr. King’s dream.

Each year, over 100 entries participate in the Tulsa MLK Parade with themed floats, music and marchers. This year’s parade begins at 11 a.m. and will air live on KTUL-Channel 8 (ABC). For more information, visit www.mlktulsa.com, call 918-492-9495 or email at [email protected].

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