Warner's contest winners use images and words to connect with MLK's Social Justice Legacy

Grand Rapids – Warner Norcross + Judd LLP once again invited Grand Rapids sixth graders to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of peace and justice – with a few new twists.

The 16th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Legacy Contest – formerly the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest – was open to all sixth graders in the Grand Rapids Public Schools district and asked students to identify and react to a racial social justice issue meaningful to them. New this year was the diverse format in which contest entries could be submitted: photo, painting, video, song, article, quote, essay, poem, spoken word and book, among others.

Submissions were evaluated by 40 Warner members.

This year’s winners are:

• Trinity Talbert, North Park Montessori – grand prize for “Alone,” a digital drawing that depicts a girl who has been through a lot because of her skin color.

• Malachi Eddie, Center for Economicology — first runner-up for “Talking to Kids About Race,” an essay that highlights the importance of teaching children about skin color for their development.

• Triston Thompson, Grand Rapids Montessori – second runner-up for “A Free Verse Poem of Freedom,” a poem that offers steps everyone can take to bring about the change King sought.
Eleven students, from C.A. Frost Middle High School, Center for Economicology, Grand Rapids Public Museum Middle School, North Park Montessori and University Prep Academy, received honorable mentions.

The 35th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Commemoration was held virtually on Jan. 18. The winners presented their submissions through a pre-recorded video. 
Each winning and honorable mention student received a gift card to Schuler Books & Music and all others received a personalized certificate of completion.


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