MLK "I Have A Dream"
Contest Winners

School: Daniel Freeman Elementary
City: Inglewood
Name: Kekoa Matthews
Age: 8

Martin Luther King Jr. day means to me that I have the power to make a difference. It means that we must continue to teach the future generations to love unconditionally and blindly to the color of ones skin or national heritages, so that prejudices may one day be completely destroyed and forgotten. It means that no matter whether we are Jews, Christians, White or Black we are all created equal by God. No matter what we look like or the faith we believe in, we are equal in Gods eyes. All of the messages and teachings of Martin Luther king Jr. can be applied to people today. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us about equality towards other people and thereof, living as brothers and sisters in a community of mutual love and respect. Martin Luther King Jr. day means that blacks must desire a piece of the economic pie. I have learned that situations can be changed through nonviolence. Dr. King taught us that unfair conditions and the plight of blacks can be changed through peaceable methods such as: marches, demonstrations, and boycotts. It means that I have the power to make a difference. It means that now, as a female African-American, I can live the life that my grandparents and their parents could not have. I have a chance to survive in a world that so many years ago was unfair to African Americans. In today’s world, Martin Luther King Jrs’ message still applies, like in the 2008 Presidential Election. History was made and America elected its first African American President.   

School: Hi Tech Middle School
City: Escondido / San Marcos
Name:  Sarah Porter
Age: 13

Martin Luther King Jr is such an inspiration to many people. He has changed the world in so many ways. The "I have a Dream Speech" gave many people courage to fight for what they wanted. Because of Martin Luther King, Caucasians and African Americans are now united. This quote really describes what he fought for, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Back before the Civil Rights Movement African Americans weren't allowed to share the same water fountains, or restrooms as the Caucasian. If they did, they could go to jail for it. They would also be put in jail for sitting in the front of the bus, like Rosa Parks did. MLK said "When will you be satisfied? We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality...  We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: For Whites Only." He is trying to say that we are all people. We are all equal. We all deserve to be treated the same. He is also saying that not only African Americans should be treated with respect but everybody should be treated with respect.

MLK's teaching is applied today because now people from all races are getting along. All types of people from young children to adults don't care what the color of your skin is. They will be your friend no matter what. Even African Americans and Caucasians are getting married and having children that are mixed. We also all share public bathrooms now, and water fountains. We share schools, books, and compete on teams made up of all nationalities. Now, we have an African American President, President Obama. It is a huge step from African Americans not even being able to vote. We wouldn't be where we are at today if it wasn't for him, unless someone else had the courage like Martin Luther King Jr. to step up to the plate. There can still be more changes in the world. Like King said, "We cannot walk alone. We cannot turn back"

School: Agoura High School
: Agoura Hills
Name: Camille Mahlknecht
Age: 16

On the third Monday of each new year, since 1986 we celebrate the birthday of a great orator and American civil rights leader. The declaration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday is a time of reflection and evaluation.  It is a time, when with clear, unobstructed vision, we critically examine where we have been, where we are at this moment in time, and where we want our journey to end, both as individuals and as a nation. This sentiment was spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in August of 1967 in his moving speech ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’  "Now, in order to answer the question, where do we go from here, we must first honestly recognize where we are now."

Since his death in 1968, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are still struggling to be realized.  Though we have made significant progress in many areas, as a country we have not yet fully realized our potential as a peaceful, loving, united, equal nation.  In support of our efforts, we have the first African American president in our nations history.  What a positive and tremendous statement regarding how far we have come.  I find this reassuring. This is significant, because the people of this great nation resorted to using the democratic process, a non-violent approach to evoke change.  Truly, Dr. King would have been jubilant. Both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Obama have been honored with receiving the Nobel peace Prize.

Perhaps the words spoken by Dr. King, that seem to resonate deeply with me are "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". Whether these injustices occur at my school (sexual orientation, minorities, social status),in my community, my state, or throughout our country, this sentiment applies.  I am conscious about doing my small part and I try to lead by example.  I try to right the wrong I see.  I speak out against the injustices.  I try to influence others with my words and actions. I am hopeful and confident that my generation will further promote more acts of kindness, promote peace, become more tolerant of other peoples religions, beliefs, and learn to accept with open arms using the power of the word and the heart to make change.  The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lives on.  With a strong moral conviction, and a clear sense of purpose, I am certain we can continue to make our journey a more beautiful one.  We can make Dr. King's dream a reality.