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Martin Luther King Jr. “Living the Dream” awards and poster competition announced

The Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission is seeking nominees for “Living the Dream” awards to be presented as part of the 18th national Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday observance on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006. The public is invited to nominate candidates for the awards.

The Commission will present five awards to individuals who best exemplify, through action or personal traits, the principles and ideals characterizing the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his pursuit of social change. Any person, regardless of race, color or creed, may be nominated in the following categories:

1. Advocate of Peace–one who has been an advocate of nonviolent social change

2. Sharing of Self–one who has rendered service to others in the public or private sector

3. Human and Civil Rights–one who has been actively involved in the pursuit of equality for others. This person should be an advocate for social change

4. Scholarship–one who has made significant contributions in the area of education

5. Governor’s Living the Dream Award–one who best exemplifies all the characteristics of justice, scholarship, sharing of self, human and civil rights, and advocacy of peace

The Commission also will place up to three state service organizations on the Living the Dream Service Organization Honor Roll. Qualifying organizations must have demonstrated one or more of the following principles for which King stood: the promotion of human and civil rights; providing assistance to under-served communities; promotion of tolerance; and resolving conflict in a nonviolent manner.

Letters of nomination for individuals or organizations must be received by Nov. 25. The letters must be fewer than two pages in length and must include the nominee’s biography and specific examples of why the nominee should be recognized. Documentation in the form of clippings, testimonials or excerpts from other printed materials by or about the candidate may be included to support the nomination. In addition, applications must include the name of the person submitting the nomination, as well as an address and daytime phone number.

Send nominations and supporting information to “Living the Dream” Awards, Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission, c/o West Virginia Division of Culture and History, The Cultural Center, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25305-0300.

For more information about the “Living the Dream” awards, call (304) 558-0220.

Each year the Commission also sponsors a poster competition for West Virginia students. The theme for this year’s poster competition is “I Was A Drum Major for Justice,” based on a quote from King’s memorable Drum Major Instinct sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., on Feb. 4, 1968.

The competition is open to all West Virginia students in grades K-12. Each entrant is allowed one entry, which must be mounted on illustration board and can be no larger than 18” x 24.” All entries become the property of the Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission.

Three awards will be given in the each of the following categories: K-2 grades, 3-5 grades, 6-8 grades and 9-12 grades. The official rules for the competition and a downloadable entry form can be found at www.wvmlkholidaycommission.org.

Entries must be received by Dec. 12 and should be mailed or delivered to Martin Luther King Jr. Poster Contest, West Virginia Holiday Commission, Attn: Patricia Wilson, West Virginia State University, 616 Wallace Hall, Institute, WV 25112-1000.

For more information about the poster competition, call Wilson at (304) 766-3312.

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Ginny Painter
Deputy Commissioner/Communications Manager
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV  25305
Phone (304) 558-0220, ext. 120
Fax (304) 558-2779
Email ginny.painter@wvculture.org