ST. CLOUD -- An annual St. Cloud essay and art contest is open for submissions.

Students in kindergarten through 12th grade and college are eligible to participate in the 2021 Dexter R. Stanton MLK Jr. Art and Essay Contest. Stanton, who passed away this spring, helped organize St. Cloud State University’s first MLK Breakfast in 2014, an event that has since become an annual tradition.

AM 1240 WJON logo
Get our free mobile app

Students can enter visual art, essay, or spoken word pieces inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s quote from King calls forth themes of serving your neighbors and healing your community.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.

Each one of the four age brackets has different word count and length requirements and different prize opportunities as follows:

Grades K-4:

$25 prizes

Writing - 100 words

Spoken Word - 30 seconds

Enter Here:

Grades 5-8:

$50 prizes

Writing - 200 words

Spoken Word - 1 minute

Enter Here:

Grades 9-12:

$75 prizes

Writing - 600 words

Spoken Word - 1-2 minutes

Enter Here:


$150 prizes

Writing - 1,000 words

Spoken Word - 2 minutes

Enter Here:

Submissions will be accepted online until 11:59 p.m. on December 3rd. The winners will be announced during the 9th annual MLK Everyday Community Celebration in January.

LOOK: 50 essential civil rights speeches

Many of the speakers had a lifetime commitment to human rights, but one tried to silence an activist lobbying for voting rights, before later signing off on major civil rights legislation. Several fought for freedom for more than one oppressed group.

Keep reading to discover 50 essential civil rights speeches.

LOOK: 28 Modern Black History Makers & Moments

More From AM 1240 WJON