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Elon honors winners of Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Essay Contest

The three winners from local middle schools were celebrated at a lunch event at Elon on Friday, Feb. 9.

Elon University on Friday celebrated the work of three local middle school students who were honored this year as winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Essay Contest. 

Contest winners are, from left, Jasmine Berry, Renee Dove and Kelsey Fuller

The annual contest sponsored by The Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education at Elon, promotes the vision of the late civil rights leader for a more humane society by asking local students to use the written word to demonstrate the value of the contributions of one person. 

The theme for this year's contest was "The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness," with participants asked to write about how involvement in their schools and communities supports King's legacy of peace, equity and social justice. 

This year's winners are: 

Renee Dove
Burlington Christian Academy, Sixth Grade

Renee has been an honor student since the first grade who last year represented her school at the Association of Christian Schools International with a creative writing piece she penned. She is a Girl Scout and volunteers at the Kernodle Senior Center. 

Her essay focused on King's "I Have a Dream" speech, with Renee writing about the ability to take a stand for what you believe and judging people for who they are. "If I could make one change in this world, it would be for people to look at others as equal and not judge a person by their color or by the clothes they wear," Renee wrote. 

Kelsey Fuller
Graham Middle School, Seventh Grade

Kelsey is an honor roll student who is active in marching band and jazz band. Her hobbies include reading and cooking for her family. Her essay, titled "Music Brings People Together," focuses on the ability to use music to bring people of different backgrounds together. "We might have our own problems, but if we work together, we might be able to help solve problems," Kelsey wrote. "Working together is a lot like playing in the band."

Jasmine Berry
Brown Summit Middle School, Eighth Grade

Jasmine enjoys reading, writing and drawing. She started writing at a young age by journaling, and her writing has continued to evolve. In her essay, she writes that she shares King's dream, with a specific focus on reducing the number of incidents of police brutality involving people of color. "Change is a slow process, but if we push for change, we will make a difference," Jasmine writes. "We need to be the ones to make that change happen."

At the celebration luncheon, the winners were introduced by Elon Teaching Fellows Maclean Wilson '20 and Dierdre Shivak '20.  and Lana Logan offered two musical selections. Cherrel Miller Dyce, assistant professor of education, offered the keynote address. 

Owen Covington,
2/9/2018 9:50 AM