Art and Essay Contest

Each year a topic concerning human rights is chosen with grade-specific contest parameters.  The information below is provided for the 2020 contest.

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LATAH COUNTY HUMAN RIGHTS TASK FORCE
2020 MARTIN LUTHER KING ART AND ESSAY CONTEST
THEME: IMPORTANCE OF VOTING RIGHTS


“Give Us the Ballot,” demanded Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1957, knowing that voting rights are the foundation of a just, inclusive society. “Let My People Vote,” he wrote in 1965, in the midst of the struggle to pass the Voting Rights Act. We still need to heed King’s words. We should not take voting rights for granted; they need to be protected and expanded to insure our human and civil rights. That’s why Voting Rights are the focus of this year’s Martin Luther King Day Art and Essay Contest.

Elementary School Topic: Grades 1-3
Essay: If Kids Could Vote! Write a letter to your classmates, teacher, or principal urging them to vote for something you think would improve your school, your community, or the whole world.
Art: Create a poster, picture or collage showing kids campaigning for something they that would make the school, the community, or the world a better place.

Elementary School Topic: Grades 4-5
Essay: Why our votes count!. We elect representatives to local, state and federal legislatures, and they in turn vote on issues important to us. Write a letter to your city council, Idaho legislator, U.S. congressional representative or senator urging them to vote for something you think would improve your school, your community, or the whole world.
Art: Create a poster, picture or collage urging people to vote for something that you think would make the school, the community, or the world a better place.

Middle School Topic: Grades  6-8
Essay: After doing some research on one of the historical struggles for the right to vote (such as that of women, African Americans, or Native Americans), write a 300-400 word essay about this struggle and why it is important to remember it today
Art: Depict a scene from one of the historical struggles for the right to vote.

High School Topic: Grades  9-12
Essay: In a 1964 speech, Martin Luther King Jr. called voting a “moral responsibility.” Yet fewer than 50% of 18-25 year-olds vote, the lowest percentage of all age groups. After doing some research, write a 500-600 word problem-solution essay, first analyzing why such a low percentage of young adults vote, then offering suggestion for motivating and enabling more of them to do so.
Art: Create a poster or video or website motivating young adults to vote.

Essay and art will be due by 4 p.m Tuesday, Jan. 14, but may be submitted anytime before that. Students may submit work through a classroom teacher or individually by mailing to our post office box. Contest winners will be honored at the annual M.L. King Day Breakfast, Jan. 18 and receive a $25 gift certificate to Bookpeople.  For more information and to have essays picked up, contact Walter Hesford (208-882-4599; hesford@uidaho.edu) or mail to Latah County Human Rights Task Force, Box 8613, Moscow, ID 83843