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Office of Multicultural Life hosts MLK Day celebration poetry contest

The Department of Multicultural Student Life is sponsoring the MLK Day Celebration poetry contest “as part of [their] goal to spread awareness and understanding of Dr. King’s vision.”

Participation is open to all Saint Vincent College students. No more than two poems per student may be submitted and each may not exceed two pages in length. Submissions will be received via email by Michelle Gil-Montero, associate professor of English, until 11:59 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017.

The writers of the winning poems will receive a $100, $50 or $25 shopping spree at the Saint Vincent bookstore. The first-place winner will also be invited to read their winning poem at the MLK Day Celebration event on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the MLK celebratory dinner.

Gil-Montero spoke about the goals of the MLK Poetry Contest.

“We hope to engage students in reflection about racial justice, and quite simply, to honor poems that respond to the challenges that Martin Luther King Jr. confronted in his lifetime, which are of course ongoing,” Gil-Montero said.

Gil-Montero hopes that students will be inspired to participate in the contest.

“I really enjoy reading student entries every year, and I encourage all students — not only students of color — to reflect on Martin Luther King’s legacy, and on racial injustice today, and write and submit a poem,” Gil-Montero said.

Ishmael Solomon, assistant director of residence and multicultural student life, explained the reasons why the Office of Multicultural Life is hosting the contest.

“One of the main things the main office is trying to do right now is make sure that we include as many perspectives as possible just to promote a more comfortable and welcoming environment for all students,” Solomon said.

Solomon also hopes that the contest will help promote understanding and unity.

“The purpose is to give people a chance to reflect on the day, what the day means to them and the individual’s perspective; you have to respect everyone’s opinion and that can be shared through poetry,” Solomon said. “I hope it gives people a sense of understanding other perspectives and that they’re able to develop a perspective on their own that they’re willing to share with others.”

To RSVP for the MLK dinner, email to reserve a seat.

Photos: SVC Flickr

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