2023 MLK Oratorical Contest Winners
2023 MLK Oratorical Contest Top 3 Winners
L-R, Salina Jackson, Junior, Weddington High School (2nd Place, $3000-Deboy and Marlene Beamon Scholarship Award); Michelle Cartwright, Senior, Salisbury High School (1st Place, $5000 - Dr. James and Octavian Jenkins Memorial Scholarship, Superlative Awards, $300-Omega Psi Phi Sigma Mu Technology Award, $350-George Burton Memorial Manuscript Award, and $400-Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Creativity Award); Adriana Dubon, Junior, East Davidson High School (3rd Place,$2500-Stanfield-Dalton Memorial Scholarship Award and Superlative $500-Joyce Torrence Zeta Phi Beta Poise Award);
L-R, Camryn Ross, Senior, Triad Math and Science (5th Place, $2300 - Dr. W. E. Banks Memorial Scholarship Award); Michelle Cartwright, Senior, Salisbury High School (1st Place, $5000 - Dr. James and Octavian Jenkins Memorial Scholarship, Superlative Awards, $300-Omega Psi Phi Sigma Mu Technology Award, $350-George Burton Memorial Manuscript Award, and $400-Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Creativity Award); Tiyana Johnson, Junior, Thomasville High School (11th Place, $1000-James H. Carter MUC Scholarship Award); Lydia Merrills, Senior, GTCC Middle College Jamestown (6th Place, $2200-Dr. William T. Jackson Memorial Scholarship Award); Adriana Dubon, Junior, East Davidson High School (3rd Place,$2500-Stanfield-Dalton Memorial Scholarship Award and Superlative $500-Joyce Torrence Zeta Phi Beta Poise Award); Neriah Carson, Senior, Northwest Guilford High School (4th Place,$2400-Dr. J. Ray Butler Memorial Scholarship Award); Kendrick Lynch, Senior, Southern Guilford High School (8th Place, $1500-Ebony Alpha Ebony Service Organization Scholarship Award);
Claudia Davis receiving 14th Scholarship - Winston-Salem State University Student assisted in 2023 MLK Oratorical Contest
L-R, Angel Hannibal, Junior, Thomasville High School (13th Place, $600-Chris & Jesteen Richbourg Scholarship Award); Justin Merrills, Junior, Kearns Academy (10th Place, $1200-James H. Bloomfield Scholarship Award); Salina Jackson, Junior, Weddington High School (2nd Place, $3000-Deboy and Marlene Beamon Scholarship Award); Ariyan Byrd, Senior, Thomasville High School (12th Place, $750-Skeen Family Scholarship Award); Damian Brandon, Senior, Salisbury High School (9th Place, $1250-Robert M. Patterson Memorial Scholarship Award); Nailah Carter, Senior, Atkins Academic & Technology High School (7th Place, $2000-Rebecca Patterson Memorial Scholarship Award).
Dr. Shelia J. Gorham, 2023 MLK-SAC Chairman's Award Winner. Thanks for all your dedication and work behind the scenes to make all our events a success year after year!
2023 MLK-SAC Community Service Award Recipients
2023 MLK-SAC Community Service Award Recipient
Mrs. Teresa Mitchell
2023 MLK-SAC Community Service Award Recipient
Pastor Kelvin Sellers
2022 MLK Oratorical Contest Scholarship Awards Day
2022 MLK Oratorical Contest Winners
To listen to speeches click here
Winners (R-L); Nailah Carter (1st Place Winner, Nailah Carter, Junior from Atkins High School, Winston-Salem, NC ($3500 - Deboy Beamon Scholarship Award & won $350 - Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Joyce Torrence Memorial Poise Award).); Ariadne Alvarez, senior from Thomasville High School, 2nd place ($3000-Stanfield-Dalton Memorial Scholarship Award); Kabari Walker (a returning student), senior from East Forsyth High School, Kernersville, NC, 4th place ($2250 - Dr. W. E. Banks Memorial Scholarship Award & won $400 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc (THS) Technology & Innovative Award); Kendrick Lynch, junior at Southern Guilford High School, Greensboro, NC, 5th place ($2000 - Ebony Alpha Ebony Service Organization Scholarship Award); Ariyan Byrd, junior at Thomasville High School, 7th place ($1500 - Rebecca Patterson Memorial Scholarship Award). Not pictured Njeri Jackson, Kalem Griffin, and Lance Patterson.
Njeri Jackson (a returning student), senior at Weddington High School, Weddington, NC, 3rd place ($2500 - Dr. J. Ray Butler Memorial Scholarship Award and $300 - George Burton Memorial Manuscript Award); Kalem Griffin, senior at East Davidson High School, Thomasville, NC, 6th place ($1750 - Dr. William T. Jackson Memorial Scholarship Award) and Lance Patterson (a returning student), senior at Mount Tabor High School, Winston-Salem, NC, 8th place ($1250 - James H. Bloomfield Scholarship Award).
Thank you to our 2022 MLK Sponsors!
2022 MLK Service Award Recipient - Elder Calvin Smith,
Pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church, Thomasville, NC
2022 MLK National Holiday Celebration - United Cornerstone University honors Dr. Michael Blackwell, CEO & President of Baptist Children's Home of NC the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Ministry.
Congratulations to our 2021 MLK Oratorical Contest Winners with scholarships and awards!
Bishop Dr. George B. Jackson - Spectrum Voices for Change
2020 MLK Holiday Announcement with Dr. Jackson and Mayor York
MLK-SAC distributed over $14,000 in scholarships to students on Sunday, July 19, 2020. ( Students that could not attend received monies via mail).
MLK Oratorical winners Kayla Robinson - Dr. William T. Jackson Scholarship $1000 and Rodriguez Salas, 5th Place Ebony Alpha Ebony Service Organization Scholarship $1300. Other students were not able to attend scholarships awarded exceeded $14,000 (Dr. George B. Jackson, Founder and Dr. Pamela S. Jackson, Dean of Students).
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”
MLK Recipients with the Dean of Students - Dr. Pamela S. Jackson
L-R; Krystenna Pinnix, 7th Place Skeen Family Scholarship Award $800; Kayla Robinson, 6th Place Dr. William T. Jackson Memorial Scholarship $1000; Alvaro Rodriguez Salas, 5th Place Ebony Alpha Ebony Service Organization Scholarship $1300; Kyndal Miller, 8th Place David M. Gordon Scholarship $600; Justeena Youmans-Royal, 1st Place Deboy Beamon Scholarship $3000; Adia Carter, 2nd Place Dr. J. Ray Butler Memorial Scholarship $2500; Taylor Rooks, 3rd Place Stanfield-Dalton Scholarship $2000; Alisse Page, 11th Place George Burton Memorial Scholarship $300; D'Andre Gaye, 4th Place Dr. W. E. Banks Memorial Scholarship Award $1500; Chloe Summey, 10th Place Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc~Joyce Torrence Scholarship $350; Brooklyn Collins, 9th Place Chris & Jesteen Richbourg Scholarship $400.
An Unpopular King
In April of 1967 Martin Luther King Jr was fed up with the almost decade long American occupation of Vietnam. Military advisers numbering 25,000 in 1964 ballooned to 490,000 American troops in 1967. Thousands of young Americans were dying in the fields and rain forest of South East Asia and being shipped home in body bags. A disproportionate number of the casualties were from poor families, many black and brown boys. Dr. King saw the war in Vietnam as an extension of the domestic maladies of racism, poverty and the military industrial complex crippling America. King saw the American Civil Rights Movement as the cornerstone to demanding civil rights for all people on a global scale. He simply could not protest against hate, racism and discrimination in the Jim Crow South and ignore the atrocities of man’s inhumanity to his fellowman on the other side of the globe.
Under advisement the prophet stayed quiet in 1966, hoping to maintain an open line of communication with the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson, which successfully pushed through the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He saw Johnson as an ally in the fight for civil rights, but at the sight of Vietnamese children burned from head to toe by napalm, he could no longer hold his peace. Dr. King saw that the expense of waging an immoral war in Asia was draining critical social programs from the poorest communities in America. King concluded that he, “could no longer remain silent about an issue that was destroying the soul of our nation.”
On April 3, 1967 (a year and a day before his martyrdom) Martin delivered the most politically charged sermon of his career from the historic Riverside Church in Upper Manhattan, New York. More than 3,000 people jammed into the auditorium to hear King denounce the Johnson Administration for escalating tensions without honorable intentions in Vietnam. King insisted all young men facing the draft should declare themselves conscientious objectors and that the “United States halt all bombing and announce a unilateral cease-fire while preparing to make what reparations we can for the damage we have done.”
The backlash against King was widespread and swift. The Washington Post suggested that King had lost respect among those who supported his causes. The New York Times argued that focusing attention on the War in Vietnam was detrimental to the civil rights movement and that he needed to confront, “the intractability of slum mores and habits.” Many in the civil rights community abandoned King, accusing him of alienating them from the Johnson Administration on whose coattail they were riding. Even some in the black press rebuked King. The historic Pittsburgh Courier warned the black community that King was, “Tragically misleading on issues too complex for simple debate.” His approval ratings among Americans in 1967 fell to 25 percent.
Dr. King was undeterred. It would take more than petty criticism to shake a man who received death threats every day for 13 years. He knew that the fight for the very soul of America would be unpopular, but he rather be right than liked. He told his close personal aide Stanley Levison, “I was politically unwise but morally wise. I think I have a role to play which may be unpopular. I really feel that someone of influence has to say that the U.S. is wrong, and everyone is afraid to say it.”
We all have a moral obligation to speak truth to power, even in the midst of those who strive to maintain the status quo and suppress dissent in any form. The greatness of King resides in his fearlessness to stand alone on the right side of history.
Dr. George B. Jackson
Martin Luther King Social Action Committee, Chairman
Submitted January 14, 2020