2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and legacy, the MLK Coalition, Napa County Office of Education, League of Women Voters of Napa County, Napa Valley CanDo, and Napa County Library are proud to announce the 2020 MLK Essay Contest for middle school and high school students.

The Prompt:

Martin Luther King Jr. was not just a dreamer. He was an activist. He led protests and boycotts for justice in the face of physical danger. He even went to jail for his beliefs. He said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” Every one of us faces situations that demand courage to do the right thing. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.”

In your essay, write about a time at school, with friends, or in the wider community when you faced a moral dilemma or an unjust situation. Write about how you acted, or wish you had acted.Did you act with the courage of your beliefs? Explain.

Contest Rules:

  • Open to middle school & high school students throughout Napa County.
  • The entry should be limited to no more than 600 words.
  • All entries must include student's name, grade level, school name, and contact phone number.
  • All entries must be submitted by NOVEMBER 22, 2019.
  • A winner from each grade level (6th-12th) will be selected to receive a $20 gift card to Napa Bookmine.
  • One winner from middle school & one winner from high school will be selected to win a grand prize and must be available to read their piece at this year's 2020 MLK Celebration on Sunday, January 19 at 5pm (coaching/assistance available to winners).

How to Submit Your Entry:

Via email


Via mail

2020 MLK Essay Contest
1195 Third Street, Suite 310
Napa, CA 94559

Full Contest Information (in English or Spanish)