City of Independence, Missouri

The Color of Unity – theme for annual John Olivarez Scholarship essay contest announced

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The City of Independence in collaboration with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration committee today announced this year’s theme for the John Olivarez Scholarship, “The Color of Unity.” High School Seniors are invited to write a 500 word essay on the theme, the winner will receive a $500 scholarship. Eighth graders can win $50 and an Adventure Oasis Water Park Family pass by entering a 300-500 word essay on the same theme.

Winners will be announced on January 15, 2018 during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr celebration at the Truman Memorial Building.

Essays must be typed, double-spaced and include the students name and address on each page. Completed Senior essays are due on December 1, 8th grade essays are due December 20, and both can be submitted in person at 111 E. Maple Avenue or via email at

Mr. Olivarez created the scholarship in 1999 to recognize high school students who understand the importance of valuing the differences of others and to promote the role of the HRC in the community. This is the 19th year the Olivarez scholarship has been offered providing more than $8,500 in scholarships to Independence students over the years. Mr. Olivarez was appointed to the Human Relations Commission in 1982 and served as chair of the Commission until his resignation in 1998. He continues to be an active part of the community.