Geneva College

Martin Luther King Essay


To recognize and to honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Geneva College is proud to announce an Essay Contest to recognize and to honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  All entries for the contest must be submitted in hard-copy form to Kathy Kinzer-Downs, Director of Multi-Cultural Student Services, or to Dr. Keith Martel, Professor of Higher Education and Core Studies, no later than January 6, 2014.

If you have any questions, email Kathy Kinzer-Downs at



After essays are evaluated by a panel of judges, three prizes will be awarded as follows:

 Third Place  $75
 Second Place  $150
 First Place  $200

The First Place essay writer will also have the opportunity to present the paper to a gathered audience in Skye Lounge on a date to be determined.


Contest Rules

  • All traditional undergraduate students at Geneva are eligible to apply
  • All essays are to be written in direct response to one of the questions identified below
  • All essays must be no shorter than seven (7) pages in length and no longer than ten (10) pages in length, not counting a cover page
  • The cover page to submitted essays must include the following information in some format:  Title of Essay; Name of Author; Date of Submission; and Email Address of Author
  • All essays must have one-inch margins on each page and utilize a font that is no less than 11 point
  • All essays must include a minimum of three bibliographic references appropriately
  • All essays must be submitted in hard-copy form
  • Late essays will not be accepted


Essay Guidelines (Please respond to one of the following items below)

  • The themes of freedom and justice clearly resound in Dr. King’s famous "I Have a Dream" speech. In a world context, but certainly a context that includes the United States, where do you see a clear and desperate need for the embodiment of these themes in our day?
  • Does the institution of higher education have a responsibility in the development of multicultural understanding? Explore best practices of colleges and universities in advancing the cause of racial reconciliation.
  • In the book Divided by Faith, Michael Emerson argues that evangelical Christians may perpetuate racial divisions rather than eliminate them.  Do you agree, disagree or both with Emerson’s point of view in this regard?
  • In his book Let Justice Roll Down, author and Civil Rights activist John Perkins writes, “The most terrible thing about the situation in the South was that so many of the folks who were either violently racist or who participated in discrimination … called themselves Christians. The question on my mind … was whether or not Christianity was a stronger force than racism.”  Is Christianity a force strong enough to combat racism? What are the key characteristics of the faith that empower the struggle for racial justice?

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