The New Mexico Black Lawyers Association is accepting submissions for the Region X Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Competition. NMBLA asks you to encourage any current high school juniors or seniors to compete in the Drum Major for Justice Competition. This competition includes both an essay and oral advocacy component and requires students to present their thoughts on what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would think about an emerging legal issue. The first round of the competition requires the student to write an essay (no longer than 1000 words) that answers the following question:
On August 28, 1963, a mass protest brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and some 250,000 others to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. What is today phrased as the March On Washington, was officially known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. One specific demand of Dr. King was linked to the horror still facing us today, police brutality. As part of his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King states: “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” Fifty-seven years later, citizens descended upon Washington DC to address the same injustice of police brutality and daily protests are being held throughout the Nation.
If Dr King were alive today, would he support the call to defund police departments across the Nation as a reform to police brutality? If so, explain why? If not, explain why?
If the student advances, the second round of the competition requires the student to present his/her answer to this question in an oral presentation. The presentation must incorporate the topic and/or answer to the essay question but should not be a verbatim recital of the essay. The oral competition will take place virtually on a day to be determined in the Spring.
Scholarships will be given on a regional level to the 1st ($500), 2nd ($300), and 3rd ($200) place winners. Each regional first place winner will represent the Region at the National Competition held during the NBA Annual Convention in Memphis, TN in July 2021. A first place, second place, and third place national winner will be chosen: First Place - $5,000, Second Place - $3,500, Third Place - $2,000. To receive the prize, seniors must submit a proof of enrollment letter from their college or university 90 days after their participation in the National Competition. Juniors will receive their prize when they matriculate for college. Juniors must also submit proof of enrollment letter from their college or university by September 30, 2021.
All interested high school juniors and seniors should send their essay and completed application packet (attached) to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1, 2021. Please pass this information on to any current high school juniors and seniors and encourage them to participate!