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January 19, 2018

Video, Photos From 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards

By Stefanie Johndrow

For the nineteenth year, high school and college students from across western Pennsylvania have addressed topics of difference and diversity in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards. This year’s winners touched on topics ranging from racial and sexual identity to the current political climate and more. The student winners read their poems and essays at an awards ceremony on Monday, Jan. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in CMU’s Cohon University Center Rangos Ballroom.

Watch a video of the awards ceremony.

View photos from the event.

Learn more about the 2018 awards and read the winning pieces.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards are sponsored by CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of English, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion and UPMC.

January 11, 2018

Mayoral Proclamation Recognizes CMU Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards Ceremony

By Stefanie Johndrow

Each year, as part of the celebration of the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., Carnegie Mellon University holds the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards, which highlights writings by students in the Pittsburgh area on their experiences with discrimination.

In acknowledgement of the awards’ impact, Mayor Bill Peduto has declared Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 as the day of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards Celebration in the city of Pittsburgh. 

The proclamation reads:

WHEREAS, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards began almost two decades ago, as an annual writing contest that allows Pittsburgh-area students to express their personal struggles with race and discrimination; and 

WHEREAS, according to the awards program’s founder, Professor Jim Daniels, the MLK Day Writing Awards’ mission is to create a space for daring, eloquent and inventive work in the belief that the process of writing itself can help young people explore and break down issues of difference in their lives; and

WHEREAS, Marin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards has grown into an anthology featuring 91 pieces by 83 writers on topics ranging from racial and cultural stereotypes and school bullying to homophobia and identity questions; and

WHEREAS, the anthology is published by Carnegie Mellon University Press, “Challenges to the Dream: The Best of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards” is a powerful selection of poetry and prose that shares moving pieces and encourages and extends conversations about racial, political, gender, cultural and more; and

WHEREAS, of the 83 contributors, approximately 40 are graduates of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and about 30 are CMU alumni. Since its inception, CMU’S MLK Day Writing Awards have received more than 2,000 entries from the Pittsburgh region. 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that I, William Peduto, Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, do hereby declare January 15, 2018 the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards Celebration” here in our most livable City of Pittsburgh.

The awards ceremony will take place Jan. 15 at 4:30 p.m. in CMU’s Rangos Ballroom in the Cohon University Center.

Read the winning pieces

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards are sponsored by CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of English, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion and UPMC.

Pictured above: CMU professor and founder of the writing awards, Jim Daniels poses with the mayoral proclamation.

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