City of Independence, Missouri

Students asked to write about the dangers of silence in annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest

INDEPENDENCE, Mo – We want to hear from our youth in the Independence School District! Independence, in partnership with the Martin Luther King Committee and the Community of Concerned Citizens, is proud to announce this year's essay contest for the 2023 Martin Luther King Scholarship.


This contest is open to all eighth-grade students and high school seniors in the Independence School District. One eighth grader and one senior will win a major prize!


In three easy steps of write, submit, win, your student could be one of the winners. First, students must express ideas, in no more than 500 words, describing how Dr. King’s statement, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” relates to current events or their own life experiences.


"This essay contest is an opportunity for our eighth graders and seniors to share their thoughts and ideas on how silence can damage our society," Nancy Harris, chair of annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, said. "We are given a voice to use, especially for matters that are important to humanity. This is something Dr. King embodied every day and we look forward to hearing from our young community members on what this means to them today."


Second, Students will submit their essays to on or before the deadline of December 9th, 2022. The email must have the student's name, school of attendance, and the essay to be eligible for the contest. Students must include MKL Essay Submission in the subject line of the email.


Third, one eighth grader and one senior will be selected to earn a scholarship based on how their ideas best relate to the quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.


The prize for the eighth-grade winner is $100 and a family pass to Adventure Oasis, while the senior winner will receive a $1000 scholarship. In addition to receiving the scholarship at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, the winning students will share their essays during the festivities. The ceremony takes place on Monday, January 16th, 2023, at The Truman Building at 416 W. Maple Avenue.


Let us encourage our youth to share their thoughts and ideas through this prodigious opportunity.