Grand Rapids Public Schools students win awards for commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.
January 18, 2024

Three Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) students have been named the winners of a local contest asking sixth graders to identify and react to a social justice issue that is meaningful to them in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Legacy Contest, hosted by Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, was open to all sixth graders at Grand Rapids Public Schools, according to a news release from the law firm. The three winners were selected out of 219 students who applied to the contest this year.

The goal of the annual contest, which is in its 19th year, is to encourage students to think about how the Rev. Martin King Jr.’s legacy of peace and justice applies to the world in which they live, the release said.

Here are this year’s contest winners, including links to their winning work:

Ode to Peace, My Dad and M.L.K.” by Jeanne Uwase

Our Lives, Our Bodies” by Madison Sheets

Equal Rights for All” by Malachi Gamble

Twenty-nine other GRPS students received honorable mentions in the contest.

The three contest winners and 29 honorable mention students were invited with their parents to attend the 38th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Commemoration at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15 at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE.

The winners and their families also received four tickets to see “To Kill a Mockingbird” compliments of Broadway Grand Rapids.


By:  Melissa Frick, MLive