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Department of State

New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State
New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission

NJ Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission

Meet the 2024 New Jersey Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission Announces 2024 Scholars.

After reviewing submissions from almost 200 New Jersey high school seniors, the New Jersey Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission is pleased to introduce the 10 winners of the 2024 NJ MLK Jr Scholarship Essay Contest ‘Looking Back at Dr. King’s 1964 Nobel Peace Prize speech’:

MLK24 Scholar: 1
Rchin Bari
Brown University
Essex County Newark Tech

MLK24 Scholar: 2
Brooke Bokser
Cornell University
Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest

MLK24 Scholar: 3
Alondra Calva
Villanova University
John E Dwyer Technology Academy

MLK24 Scholar: 4
Taylor Douglas
American University
Freehold Township High School

MLK24 Scholar: 5
Ella Ehrlich
Cornell University
Bergen County Academies

2024 SCHOLARS

MLK24 Scholar: 6
Bernard Liang
Duke University
Manalapan High School

MLK24 Scholar: 7
Reese Passuth
University of Hartford
Union County Vocational Technical High School

MLK24 Scholar: 8
Savannah Rodriguez
Hampton University
Rahway High School

MLK24 Scholar: 9
Makenna Thomas
Alvernia University
Vernon Township High School

MLK24 Scholar: 10
Rochelle Vil
TBD
William L. Dickinson High School

“The 2024 essay contest winners shared insightful comments about the significance of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. King as reflected in his remarkable speech,” said New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way, who oversees the MLK Jr. Commission in her capacity as Secretary of State. “I applaud these young people for their commitment to community service and furthering the legacy of Dr. King through both their words and their actions.”

A virtual awards ceremony was held in the evening of May 29 to announce the 2024 MLK Scholars who come from across the state. Hosted by NJ MLK JR Commission Chairman George Guy and members of the Commission, the ten scholars were in attendance to accept their awards.

“On behalf of the New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission, we extend our congratulations to our ten MLK Scholars who will be moving onto post-secondary education in the fall,” said Commission Chairman George Guy. “Their essays about Dr. King’s famous Nobel Prize speech and how his work continues to inspire both their academic work and community service, gives us all abundant hope for the future.”

The 2024 MLK Scholars will be awarded $5,000 scholarship for the university or college of their choice in the fall of 2024.

THE NEW JERSEY DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. COMMISSION SALUTES JAMES L. BALLENTINE, KENYON C. BURKE and SARAH M. DUNDAS

It is with heavy heart that the New Jersey Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission announces the deaths of former Commission members

James Lawrence Ballantine in Morristown, NJ
Kenyon Clinton Burke in Ashburn, VA
Sarah Murray Dundas in Morris Township, NJ

Commission Chair George V. Guy, Jr. said “Our mission to educate our fellow New Jerseyans on Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement was enriched and fortified by the presence of veterans civil rights and social justice advocates James Ballentine, Kenyon Burke and Sarah Dundas. We will miss them but stand stronger for their contributions.”

The Commission extends sincere condolences to the families and friends of James Ballantine, Kenyon Burke and Sarah Dundas who served on the citizens of New Jersey and the Commission with distinction.

Ballentine

James Lawrence Ballantine
(1/19/70 – 5/3/22)
Obituary

Burke

Kenyon Clinton Burke
(9/30/30 – 2/23/23)
Obituary

Film Festival

Sarah Murray Dundas
(6/4/46 – 1/4/22)
Obituary

MEET THE 2023 NJ DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. COMMISSION SCHOLARS!

After reviewing submissions for almost 200 New Jersey high school seniors, the New Jersey Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission announces the 10 winners of ‘Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere’ 2023 Scholarship Essay Contest:

MLK23 Scholar: 1
SEKNA BAZZI
Barnard College of Columbia University
Science Park High School

MLK23 Scholar: 2
ALBERT CAESAR
Princeton University
Ridge High School

MLK23 Scholar: 3
SPENCER JAHNG
TBA
The Pingry School

MLK23 Scholar: 4
MIRIKA JAMBUDI
Harvard University
The Pingry School

MLK23 Scholar: 5
MATTHEW LEE
Columbia University
East Brunswick High School

2023 SCHOLARS

MLK23 Scholar: 6
JADA SAMPSON
TBA
Academy for Performing Arts

MLK23 Scholar: 7
KASAI SANCHEZ
William Paterson University
Teaneck High School

MLK23 Scholar: 8
AMANDA THOMAS
TBA
Union County Magnet High School

MLK23 Scholar: 9
DEVIN TORRES
University of Southern California
Lenape High School

MLK23 Scholar: 10
JEFFREY XU
Princeton University
Livingston High School

“Our 2023 essay contest winners demonstrated a thoughtful understanding of how Dr. King’s fight against injustice was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent resistance movement that successfully ended almost a century of British colonial rule in India. I am thrilled to congratulate these young leaders and extend our wishes for their future success,” said NJ Secretary of State Tahesha Way.

“On behalf of the New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission, we extend our congratulations to our ten MLK Scholars who will be entering college in the fall,” Commission Chairman George Guy said. “Their essays about Dr. King’s legacy and his inspiration for their academic work and community service, has given all of us great hope for the future.”

The 2023 MLK Scholars will be awarded $5,000 scholarship for the university or college of their choice.

2023 New Jersey Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission
I HAVE A DREAM mini grant

The New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission is offering mini-grants in honor of the 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s I HAVE A DREAM speech, which he delivered at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963.

The Commission will award 10 mini-grants of $5,000 each, to community organizations and programs to highlight and commemorate Dr. King’s historic speech and its relevance to our times. We are seeking applications of up to 3 pages, including a budget, that will propose events or programs that might include:

Community Service or Clean-up; Presentation of MLK I Have a Dream Speech: Arts event; Civil Rights Discussion or Roundtable; Interviews of veterans of the Civil Rights Movement; Sports Event; Your own idea!!

Find out more information and how to apply

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media

George Guy Jr. Impacts Children, Community in Cherry Hill and On MLK Commission

CHERRY HILL – George Guy Jr. entered Prairie View A&M University near Houston after attending high school in Willingboro to become a veterinarian.

Call to Action

We, the Commissioners of the New Jersey Martin Luther King Commemorative Commission, denounce the senseless murders of George Floyd; Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other African Americans who for too long have been the victims of institutionalized racial injustice in this country. In his book Why We Can’t Wait, Dr. King wrote “Three hundred years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper.” We decry the effects of systemic racial discrimination, not with a whisper, but with a thunderous outcry that we will match with renewed vigilance and purposeful and powerful actions.

Each year, the Commission, the first such State Commission in the Nation, recalls historical events in the life of Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement, while focusing on issues of current import. We have commemorated the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Jackie Robinson breaking the color line in baseball, and “Women Who Led” in the struggle for civil rights. This year, we have chosen the theme: “Youth, We Hear You,” recognizing the emerging voices of a new generation. We will host a Youth Town Hall in the Fall, and our annual Commemorative on January 17, 2021, which will be followed by a statewide virtual Youth Conference and Day of Service on January 18, 2021.

In the face of the recent historically deplorable events, and the extraordinary moment that they offer, the Commission plans to develop an agenda focused on key issues that provide both challenges and opportunities for progress. We believe that New Jersey can be a role model to finally recognize the fullest manifestation of democracy in this country. This vision calls for policies that guarantee equal protection under the law; that promise that race and poverty will no longer be death sentences; and an end to mass incarceration. We call for eliminating deadly force police protocols, de-militarized policing, developing a comprehensive plan to end school desegregation, and exploring ideas that are being studied related to reparative justice. We also call for appropriate funding for counseling services for students to address bullying and racial discrimination. We will make our agenda known throughout the state and will invite groups and individuals, of all ages and backgrounds, to join us in achieving these objectives. We will also highlight the ongoing work of organizations throughout New Jersey and provide a platform for them to share our mutual commitment and goals.

As we recognize Dr. King’s call to action in the “fierce urgency of now,” we call upon everyone to become involved, to join us in partnership, and to go from strength to strength together. Please join us!

It has been 400 years since the first arrival in English-occupied North America of enslaved people from Africa. To mark this anniversary, the Commission is highlighting resources related to the history of slavery in New Jersey.

 

 

 

The Children's March Videos:

Altanta History Center

History Channel

 

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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