University of Idaho’s Ubuntu committee is set to organize and host an essay and arts contest in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The prompt for this year’s contest is focused around issues of racial, social and ethnic justice according to Ubuntu’s press release. All UI undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are currently enrolled for the spring semester are eligible to enter the contest.
Entries can either be in the form of an essay or an art piece in a medium of the participant’s choice to respond to the given prompt. Jan Johnson, the Ubuntu chairperson, said this year’s prompt was chosen while keeping in mind current events and feelings regarding black culture.
“The current community considered that we have entered a very difficult and painful time regarding race relations, with overt racism being expressed from the highest offices in our country,” Johnson said.
Johnson said each year during preparation for the contest, Ubuntu is tasked with considering current events and attitudes in the U.S. and how they relate to the legacy of King.
“The committee wanted folks to think about the importance of developing resilience and practicing good self-care so that we have the strength and hope to keep working toward justice,” Johnson said. “How do we develop resilience? How do we keep love in our hearts and as our guide? These are the questions we’d like our community to think about and share with others.”
Ubuntu committee members organized the contest and will be responsible for judging the contest entries.
The winners of the contest will be announced at the Shades of Black event hosted by Ubuntu Feb. 10. According to Johnson, the Shades of Black event, created by a former UI student, is designed to showcase of all kinds of black culture including spoken word, music, dance and other forms of cultural expression.
“It’s a wonderful, fun, and astounding event of incredible talent that no one should miss. It’s an expression of creativity and love at the highest level,” Johnson said.
Elizabeth Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org