On January 31st of next year, the Martin Luther King Celebration Committee will host the annual MLK Celebration Dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. This event will mark not only the celebration’s 17th anniversary but also the 50th anniversary of the Civil rights Act of 1964. Assisting in the tribute of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Act, area youth are called upon each year to submit an essay to commemorate what Dr. King has done for the people.

Dr. King was one of the nation’s leaders who fought for the justice of equality through nonviolent protesting. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Dr. King himself received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 because he played such an active role in the movement.

The 2015 essay theme for the contest is “How has the Civil Rights Act of 1964 impacted the world you live in today?” The essay has a 300 word limit and the submission deadline is December 19th. The winners will be chosen from grades K-12 in the Sacramento region the night of the celebration dinner.

“The dinner is among the largest gatherings of civic, judicial,business, religious, education, law enforcement and community members from throughout the area,” says Michael Alcalay, a candidate for the San Juan Unified School District Board in 2014. The youth can have a wonderful opportunity to be surrounded by these types of people, and be exposed to an event full of positive influence. The essay contest will also encourage students to write and read more.

The attendees will be served dinner before the award ceremony. The 2015 Community Service Award will go to Robert T. Matsui, and the keynote speaker is Kenneth B. Morris Jr., the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington. The essay winners will receive a prize as well as be published on MLK Celebration Committee’s website. 

For information, tickets, and essay details please visit http://mlkcelebrationsacramento.org/index.html