2023 MLK Student Contest Winners Announced
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Society is pleased to announce the Tulsa-area students who won art, dance, essay and oratorical contests in conjunction with the Tulsa MLK Parade that will take place on Monday, January 16, 2023. This year marks the 44th Anniversary of the parade, with the theme “We Are Stronger When Working Together.” Student contest winners are as follows:
Youth Art Contest (Grades K-6)
Students in grades K-6 were asked to create an illustration based on one of three themes that characterizes Dr. King’s life and work – Love, Peace or Unity – and what the theme means to them. All three winning drawings are showcased in the 2022 MLK Souvenir Book. (See student art below).
1st Place ($175): Aadhya Duggirala, 4th Grade, Moore Elementary, Union Public Schools
2nd Place ($125): Paris Price, 5th Grade, Solid Foundation Preparatory Arts Academy
3rd Place ($75): Andan Vo, 4th Grade, Solid Foundation Preparatory Arts Academy
4th Place ($50): Adelaide McPherson, 4th Grade, Darnaby Elementary, Union Public Schools
Interpretative Dance of Peace (Ages 18 and younger)
Individuals and team ensembles (ages 18 and younger) were encouraged to create and perform an interpretive dance with the theme of “Peace.” Dancers were judged based on accuracy, showmanship, choreography and performance. The 1st Place winner, receiving a $525 award, is Lailah Danzy, a 7th grade student at Epic Charter School. The 2nd Place winners are ensemble the Solid Foundation Arts Academy Jazz & Hip Hop Class, which will share a $525 award.
Essay Contest (Grades 6-8)
Middle school students (grades 6-8) were asked to write a 350-500 word essay on the topic, “I live my life as a reflection of Dr. King’s dream by . . .” Essays were judged based on originality/creativity, clarity, use of facts or specific examples and other criteria. Their essays are published in the 2023 MLK Souvenir Book. Prizes were awarded as follows:
1st Place ($250): Tsuguaki Joshua Katoh, 8th grade, Carver Middle School (read the winning essay here);
2nd Place ($225): Zoe Goode, 8th grade, Union Eighth Grade Center;
3rd Place ($200): Lillian Geld, 8th grade, Carver Middle School;
4th Place ($175): Lathan McClellan, 8th grade, Union Eighth Grade Center; and
5th Place ($150): Jayden Dale Holcomb, 8th grade, Webster Middle School.
Oratorical Contest (Grades 9-12)
High school students (grades 9-12) were asked to memorize Dr. King’s iconic “I have a dream” speech for a chance to showcase their oratorical skills. Contestants were judged on clarity, quality, delivery, stage presence and memorization skills. Prizes were awarded to the following:
1st Place ($1,000): Kriti Gopi, 10th grade, Union High School;
2nd Place ($500): Erina Katoh, 10th grade, Booker T. Washington High School; and
3rd Place ($350): Makayla Goode, 12th grade, Union High School.
Kriti Gopi, the 1st Place winner, will perform Dr. King’s speech for ONE Gas employees at a special Martin Luther King, Jr. event on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. ONE Gas is the official sponsor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest. She will also present the speech at the Sunday Commemorative Service on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, 1301 S. Boston Ave., in Tulsa.
For more information about contests contact
Pauline Harris at 918-746-6517 or
Nekki Reagan-Neeley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2023 Oratorical Winner Presents Iconic Speech
Congratulations to Kriti Gopi, 1st place winner of the 2023 Oratorical Contest. A sophomore at Union High School, Kriti won $1,000 from OneGas for her efforts.
2023 Interpretive Dance of Peace
Congratulations to Lailah Danzy, 1st place winner of the 2023 Interpretive Dance of Peace Contest. A 7th grade student at Epic Charter School, Lailah won $525 for her efforts.