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MLK, Jr. Poster & Essay Contest

2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Essay and Creative Visual Posters Contests 

Aiken Technical College and the University of South Carolina Aiken will present the annual community-wide celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. virtually on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023 at 3 p.m. at the University of South Carolina Aiken Convocation Center.  The celebration is a time to reflect on the past and focus on the future of humanity as a whole.  Dr. King’s legacy has taught us to commit ourselves to service by serving each other and those in our communities.  

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Steering Committee, in conjunction with University of South Carolina Aiken’s Inclusion Advisory Council (IAC), is inviting all Aiken County students to submit an original poster or written essay that draws on their experience to respond to the following questions: 

  • For the Kindergarten-5th grade creative visual poster contest:  “What does the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day mean to you?”
  • For the 6th-12th grade essay contest: What does the following quote from Dr. King mean? "We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.” Speech given at the National Cathedral, March 31, 1968.

Successful creative visual posters/essays will answer the question, and refer specifically to personal experiences and observations.

Essay Categories:      

Middle School (up to 1,000 words)
High School (up to 1,500 words)

Creative Visual Posters Categories:    

Kindergarten-2nd grade (should be no larger than 8 by 11.5 paper)

3rd–5th grades


Must be a student attending a public, private or home school in Aiken County.


First place essay and poster winners will receive a grand prize.

Creative Visual Posters will be displayed during the program.    


Friday, November 11th, 2022
Winners will be announced on or before December 21st, 2022.

Creative Visual Posters and Essays should be submitted to the teacher who will then forward to the District Office.  For private school students, please submit to your teacher who can contact USC Aiken to pick up.  First and last names, name of school, grade level and teacher should be included on contest submissions.  

For those students who are studying virtually this semester, please mail your entry to the address below.

For more information, please contact Ahmed Samaha, Vice Chancellor of Student Engagement and Inclusivity, the University of South Carolina Aiken, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801.  Or you can call 803-641-3411 or email