Now through Monday, Dec. 4, the Doña Ana County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is accepting submissions for the 2018 MLK Essay or Poetry Contest. The annual writing contest is open to all 9th through 12th grade students in Doña Ana County.

The topic for this year’s writing contest, “Why Civil Rights should be taught in Schools,” will require students to write an essay or poem about the importance of teaching civil rights in schools.

Essays must be between 400-600 words and poems must be between 34-46 lines. All submissions must include a heading with the student’s name, grade level, school name and contact information. Any submissions that include inappropriate, vulgar or offensive language, will not be accepted. Each student may submit only one essay or one poem.

All winning submissions will be honored at the Annual NAACP Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Banquet, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 at Hotel Encanto, 705 S. Telshor Blvd. The first place contest winner will receive a $200 gift card, a history award from WoodmenLife and a commemorative plaque from the NAACP. All of the winning writers will also be asked to read their winning submission at the banquet.

The second-place winner will receive a $100 gift card and the third-place winner will receive a $50 gift card. All of the winning writers will receive complimentary tickets for them and their families to attend the breakfast banquet. In addition, the top 20 participants will also receive a free one-year membership in the Doña Ana County Branch of the NAACP.

All submissions should be emailed to:, no later than Monday, Dec. 4. Students with winning submissions will be notified during the week following the submission deadline.

For more information, contact Alonzo Moore at: (505) 400-7905 or

Click Here to download the Essay/Poetry Contest Flyer