Thirty-eight students were honored at the 31st Annual Family Celebration organized by the Central Brooklyn Martin Luther King Commission on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 at the Prospect Heights High School Campus in Brooklyn.
For 31 years the commission whose mission is to improve education, has celebrated the national birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., through its Art, Essay and Poetry Contest. This contest challenges young people to consider the legacy of Dr. King and its relevance to social issues in the society today.
This year the contest has grown tremendously with nearly 460 participants submitting entries from charter, home-school, private and public institutions from the boroughs of Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens. Ultimately, the moment belonged to the nine elementary, 10 middle-school and nine high school prize winners and honorable mentions. The spirit of community pride was on full display as community leaders, volunteers, educators, alumni and families gathered to honor these winners. They took center-stage and skillfully represented Dr. King’s legacy through artworks and presentations of essays and poems.
The special guest speaker actor and director Geoffrey L. Owens ended the event by delivering a very powerful presentation. In his presentation, he hailed Dr. King as the greatest orator of the 20th century. Amongst the many things Owens said, he attributed most of the development of Dr. King’s mind to reading. He ended his presentation by issuing a call to action urging young people to read, so they too can develop their minds.