City, college collaborate on community-wide poetry contest to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

 CCA Martin Luther King poetry contestMiddle school, high school, CCA students asked to commemorate King’s life and teachings

CCA's Global Initiatives Committee, in partnership with the City of Aurora, is hosting a poetry contest to promote the ideals that Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many others stood for and continue to actively support. In January, the City of Aurora will host its 25th commemoration of King’s life and teachings, and college and city officials have issued a creative challenge: How has Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision continued to inspire, more than 40 years after his famous “I Have a Dream” speech?

Middle school and high school students from Aurora Public Schools, Cherry Creek Schools, and the Community College of Aurora are eligible to participate in the contest. Participants may submit any kind of poem: free verse, blank verse, classical, haiku, rap, etc. Poems may be no more than one page in length, and submissions must be accompanied by a title and the author’s name. Poems must be on a theme that Martin Luther King stood for; sample subjects include justice, human and civil rights, freedom from prejudice, embracing diversity, ending conditions that cause poverty, and promoting peace and goodwill.

Submissions and an official entry form may be sent to: Global Initiatives Committee, c/o Ruthanne Orihuela, Fine Arts Building, F103C, Community College of Aurora, 16000 E. CentreTech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011 or by e-mail to All entries must be received by Dec. 3, 2010. The entry form may be found at

According to Orehuela, contest winners will be acknowledged in a number of ways. “Winners will be recognized as people who speak out for human rights and justice,” she said. “We want students’ words and ideas to inspire other people to embrace the kind of values that Martin Luther King stood for.” Winners also will be given the opportunity to read their poem at a public event celebrating Martin Luther King Day and will receive a gift certificate from a local book/music store. Certificates will be awarded in each of the three categories: 6-8 grades, 9-12 grades, and college-level submissions. Entries will be judged by the faculty of the Performing Arts and Humanities and the Communications Departments at CCA.

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