ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Howard County Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission is seeking nominations for its annual “Living the Dream” award and student entrants for its 2024 essay, oratory, and poster contests. The deadline for award nominations and contest entrees is 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 31st.

Our young people, who are our emerging leaders, continue the fight for civil rights and racial justice, standing upon the shoulders of giants, reaching for the stars. The ‘Living the Dream’ award and contests are an incredible way to honor the legacy and work of Dr. King and remind us why we must not grow weary in our efforts to fight for a better future and a better world, for all.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

The annual “Living the Dream” award recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations (community, civic or religious) that promote the teachings and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through community involvement in Howard County. For eligibility requirements and/or to submit your nomination, click here.

In addition to its “Living the Dream” award, the Commission is also seeking entrees from Howard County students for its essay, oratory and poster contests. For its three contests, the Commission is calling upon students to reflect upon Dr. King’s statement: “Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”

For the essay contest, middle and high school students must discuss what makes your community great and how have you contributed towards its wellbeing. Students with disabilities may submit their entry using media and/or other modes of audio-visual presentation. For the oratory contest, middle and high school students must share a story about a time where they fought for humanity or equal rights, how it made them feel and why they did it. Students are asked to submit their essays and/or video links to mlk@howardcountymd.gov

Open to elementary, middle and high school students, for the poster contest, students must create an original piece of artwork using a medium of their choosing that shows how they can make Howard County more welcoming to all people. To submit your poster entries, scan a copy of the poster and email it to mlk@howardcountymd.gov or you can mail the poster to the Office of Human Rights & Equity at 9820 Patuxent Woods Dr. Suite 237, Columbia, MD 21046.

All essay, oratory and poster entrees must include the contest application form. Essay, oratory and poster contest winners will receive a cash prize and be listed on the County’s Office of Human Rights and Equity’s (OHRE) Contests and Awards website

Living the Dream award and contest winners will be honored at the Commission’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration on Sunday, January 14, 2024, at Howard Community College’s Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission was established in 1985 to encourage and coordinate appropriate activities and ceremonies throughout Howard County to honor the birthday, ideals and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, the Commission provides assistance to local government and private organizations with respect to the observance of the holiday honoring the birthday of the late Dr. King.  

For more information about the Living the Dream award and the student essay, poster and oratory contests, visit OHRE’s “Contest and Awards” website or contact OHRE at 410-313-6430 or email mlk@howardcountymd.gov

Media Contacts
Safa Hira, Director of Communications

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