MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH CONTEST

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REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

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Amplify thew power of your voice. Share how Dr. King's legacy inspires. you

ABOUT MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH CONTEST

Presented by the YWCA Delaware and Christ Church Christiana Hundred, MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH is a statewide, spoken word contest for high school students, grades 9 – 12. The contest challenges students to reflect on Dr. King’s work in the 1960’s and creatively share how his legacy guides their response to today’s challenges.

MISSON: To empower, inform, engage, and value youth voices to promote a just, inclusive, and equitable society.

VISION:
Provide youth opportunities and a safe platform that develops and promotes leadership and 21st-century skills that will serve them personally, academically, and professionally in their future pursuits.

VALUES:
Youth, guided by Dr. King’s legacy and principles, when given a safe space to express their views in their vernacular on issues important to them, are inspired to act for social change. When youth are heard, they are empowered and discover their voices can make a difference. Amplifying youth voices through respect, understanding, and compassion benefits them, their peers, communities, and our future.

WHY PARTICIPATE?

    • Your voice will be heard!
    • $2,000 will be awarded to the 1st Place Winner! | $1,000 will be awarded to the 2nd Place Winner! | $500 will be awarded to the 3rd Place Winner!
    • Creative freedom to tap into your favorite means of expression poetry, rap, or speech to deliver your message
    • Winners may receive additional speaking opportunities & scholarships!
    • Cultivate 21st-century skills
    • Connect with community leaders, educators, and government officials
    • Record your presentation and share your creative work for college applications
    • Finalists will each receive a $50 Amazon gift card!
    • $500 will be awarded to the School of the 1st Prize Winner!

2021 – 2022 IMPORTANT DATES

REGISTRATION OPENS International Peace Day: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

PEACE WEEK: Saturday, October 2, 2021 – Sunday, October 10, 2021

HYBRID WRITING WORKSHOP: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 4 PM
To register for the in-person writing (max. 15 students) workshop at The Teen Warehouse, 1121 Thatcher Street, Wilmington, DE 19802 click here.
To register for the virtual ZOOM writing workshop click here.

ONLINE WRITING WORKSHOP: Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 6 PM, led by Dr. Donna Blakey, Delaware State University.

IN-PERSON WRITING & PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP: Saturday, December 11, 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM at Christ Church Christiana Hundred, 505 E. Buck Road, Wilmington, DE 19807 (lunch will be provided.)

ALL WORKSHOPS ARE FREE FOR MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH CONTESTANTS.

REGISTRATION CLOSES: Friday, December 17, 2021

SEMI-FINALS
DOVER: Friday, January 7, 2022 at Modern Maturity Center, 1121 Forrest Avenue, Dover, DE 
WILMINGTON: Saturday, January 8, 2022 at The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew & Matthew, 719 N. Shipley St., Wilmington, DE

FINALS: Sunday, January 16, 2022 at 2 PM at the Baby Grand in the Grand Opera House (818 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE)

COVID-19 

Those who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear a mask, and may be asked to present their vaccination card at in-person events. Contestants should also bring photo ID to all events. Note: Pandemic restrictions (e.g., face masks) are subject to change.

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WORKSHOP CONVENERS & COACHES

Hugh Atkins
Visual Artist
Past Chair of English Dept., Tower Hill School

Dr. Donna Blakey
Adjunct Associate Professor, English Department
Delaware State University

Dr. David Teague
Professor of English Literature
UD Community Engagement Fellow
Associate Director, Associate in Arts Program, University of Delaware

Jayne M. Thompson
Associate Teaching Professor of English & Creative Writing, Widener University
Director, Chester Writers House

JUDGES

Donald Blakey, Director, DonDel Theatre Company
Maria De Los Angeles Cabrera, Councilwoman at Large & President Pro-Tem
Bebe Coker, Black Heritage Educational Theater Group
Kaamilah Diabaté, 2016 MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH Winner
Vernita Dorsey, Senior Vice-President, Director of Community Strategy, WSFS Bank
Shannon Griffin, Senior Policy Advocate, ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, Delaware
Dr. Guillermina Gonzalez, Professor, College of Business, Wilmington University
Edwin Hernandez-Vargas, Community Relations & Outreach Director, Office of the Lt. Governor
Tim Hurtt, 2017 MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH Contestant, Rutgers University
The Rev. Dr. Marta Illueca, Brandywine Collaborative Ministries, the Episcopal Church in Delaware
Jesse Johnson, Chair, Social Sciences, Delaware Technical Community College
The Rev. Dr. Lawrence M. Livingston, Assist. Professor. Africana Studies, University of Delaware
Senator Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, Third District
Senator Sarah McBride, First District
The Rev. Dr. John Moore, United Way of Delaware
Nana Ohemaa Asante, 2017 MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH 2nd Prize Winner, University of Delaware
Deborah Olatunji, 2019 MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH Winner, University of Pennsylvania
Don Peterson, Vice Chair, Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice
Dr. Keith Pettiford, Gamma Theta Lambda Education Foundation, Inc.
Luis Santiago, Vice President, Bank of America
Nyani Scott, 2020 MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH Winner, Howard University
Ian Smith, Parks & Recreation Director, City of Wilmington
Jea Street, Youth Advocate, Singer-songwriter, Educator
Dr. Freeman L. Williams, Newark NAACP Branch President
Bruce Wright, First State Community Action Agency

QUESTIONS?

Contact: JANE RUBINI, Founder
Phone: 302-655-3379 or
Email: jrubini@christchurchde.org

MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH ANNUAL CONTEST HIGHLIGHTS

Neha Das, 2021 MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH - First Place
Nyani Scott, 2020 MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH - First Place
Deborah Olatunji, 2019 MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH - First Place
Kemuel Harding, 2018 MLK VOICE 4 YOUTH - First Place

SPONSORS