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Department of State

New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary
New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission

Essay Contest
Women Who Led… They Cared… They Dared…

We are pleased to announce this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative, the NJ MLK Commission will be focusing on the women leaders of the struggle for equality and civil rights.

Please join this movement by creating an essay that will tell the story of Women Who Led, and how they can inspire you and all of us! We invite you to choose one of the 10 great leaders (listed below) and write an essay about what you find compelling about your choice. We will be seeking essays from Middle School and High School Students, as well as Youth engaged in various programs.

HINT: Essayists may have a greater chance of success if they select less well known women leaders. 

  • Applications must be submitted online by due date for the essay contest until December 18, 2019.
  • Notification of the essay honorees (a total of 10) will be sent by January 6, 2020.

Those selected will receive:

  • A medal of Recognition;
  • A $100 gift card;
  • Essay will be posted on our website;
  • Honorees will be asked to read their essay at the MLK Commemorative on January 19, 2020, at the State Museum Auditorium in Trenton, NJ.

If you have questions, please contact Rowena at (609) 633-9627 or

Thank you for participating!

George Guy, Jr., Chairman
New Jersey Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission
New Jersey Department of State


Submit an Essay

If you are interested in submitting an essay, please complete and submit the form below:


Applicant Name

Are you a student?  (required) 
Please Select One  (required) 


Advisor Name:


Select one leader for the essay. (Please check the box below.):

Ella Baker
Harriet Tubman
Rosa Parks
Fannie Lou Hamer
Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Coretta Scott King
Diane Nash
Constance Baker Motley
Shirley Chisholm
Edith Savage Jennings


Question 1

Please describe the leaders mission/ motivation to lead.


Question 2

How does this leader connect with the work of Dr. King?


Question 3

Please describe how this leader inspires you.





King and I:

New Jerseyans Reflect on the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in commemoration of his 90th Birthday

NJ Quotes on MLK

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