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Young, Gifted Brooklyn Writers Celebrate Dr. King’s Life and Legacy at Central Brooklyn

This Monday, January 16th …

Martin Luther King Commission Annual Event

Congressman Major Owens

Brooklyn, NY – The 32nd Annual Family Celebration of Dr. King’s Life and Legacy, sponsored by the Central Brooklyn Martin Luther King Commission, will take place in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Monday, January 16th from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Doors open to the general public at 12:45 pm. The event will take place at Prospect Heights High School campus, 883 Classon Avenue between President & Union Streets (across from the Brooklyn Museum).  [2/3 Trains to Eastern Parkway – Brooklyn Museum or Franklin Avenue; 4/5/S Trains to Franklin Avenue]

Families and friends of art, essay and poetry contestants will be in attendance to celebrate the 27 cash prizewinners in the elementary school, middle school and high school divisions for each contest.   Every child in attendance will receive a gift and there will be a free raffle drawing for families, with prizes including a computer.

Prizewinning students will present art, essays and poetry, and there will be a musical performance by the Advance Choir of the Brooklyn School for Music & Theatre.  Every contestant will receive a certificate and a T-shirt.

“The submissions from our students reflected strong concerns about police brutality, climate change, prejudice against immigrants and Muslims, and gun violence, amongst other issues,” said Christopher R. Owens, Commission President and son of the late Congressman and Commission founder Major Owens.


“This celebration never ceases to uplift those in attendance,” said Owens, “because we see in real time the evolution of our future leaders.  There is no better two-hour investment in Dr. King’s legacy anywhere.”

Owens continued:  “Children today are both optimistic and pessimistic.  One of our essay winners invoked Dr. King’s courage as she wrote about her mother wearing a hijab when others were afraid to do so.  In praising Dr. King’s opposition to the Vietnam War and those who resisted World War I, another winner asked, ‘When do we draw the line between what our government tells us and what we know are facts?’”

Another essay winner declared that, “If I were Dr. King, I would probably try to lead protests just like the people are doing now” with regard to police brutality, while a poetry winner wrote, “Colored individuals have struggled for a very long time.  It almost seems like a war crime. Don’t get me wrong, the times have changed. But they’ve only been slightly rearranged”.

In its 32-year history, more than 10,000 students have participated in the commission’s contests and other activities.  More than $200,000 in cash awards and prizes have been distributed to participating students.

Prior to his passing in 2013, the late Congressman Major Owens, founder of the MLK Commission, made his vision for the commission’s contests very clear: “In memory of Dr. King, we work to improve our communities through education.  For each child who participates in our contests, a memorable moment of exploration is created — she or he is challenged to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and how his words relate to our lives today.”


The event is held on the first celebration of Dr. King’s birthday before the National Holiday came into being.

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