MLK Jr. Celebration Committee Contest Winners

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Adapting to the challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee held a virtual symposium through Zoom that featured countless local community leaders and figures honoring MLK Jr.’s legacy. 

“Organizers of the annual Minden Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration took a new approach to honoring the life and legacy of the slain Civil Rights leader. Community members from all walks of life share their thoughts with the public in this video. It is our honor to present this video to our students, parents, community, and the world,” the video description read.

The Symposium can still be viewed online at their Youtube Channel called MLK Celebration Minden, LA, with the title of the video being “In Honor of the Life and Legacy: A Symposium for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”

However, before the video was featured, the Committee also announced the winners of the MLK Jr. Essay Contest, Video Contest, and Youth Leadership Awards which were given to young people for their dedication to social action, positive change and building bridges among races, cultures and communities.

These contests provided students with an opportunity to understand and reflect on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and how he changed America forever. The ones who best articulated their thoughts on the subject were chosen as the winners, which is listed below:

The Youth Leadership Award winners are Tanner Blayne Lord of North Webster Jr. High School, Kiyra Wheeler of North Webster Jr. High School, Solomon Bryant of Minden High School, and Amari Knapp of Minden High School.

K-2 Essay Contest Winner is Javaeh Dawson, 2nd Grade, of JL Jones Elementary.

The 3rd-5th Essay Contest Winners are 3rd Place Shanteria Bradford, 2nd Place Courtnei Hampton and, 1st Place Laterrance Goldston.

The 6th-8th Essay Contest Winners are 3rd Place Chloe Monroe, 2nd Place Chelsei Hampton, and 1st Place Kynsey Thompson

The 9th-12th Essay Contest Winners, 3rd place Colin Gregg, 2nd Place Kyntanise Dubose,  and 1st Place Brelyn Winzer-Jackson.

While the holiday may be over, the Committee still has more plans in store for 2021, the next of which is to select applicants for their MLK Endow a Dream Scholarships. For more information on how to apply, email

The Committee members who worked selflessly to ensure Martin Luther King Jr.’s life is celebrated here in Minden include Fayrine Kennon-Gilbert, Reginald Bridges, Oreata Banks, Michael Walker, Valencia Smallwood, Krystal Harrison, John Fincher, Breleisha Gilbert, Phillips Smart, Felica Harris, and Chequella Walker. 

The sponsors who helped to make the event a reality include Gold Sponsors Mayor Terry Gardner, Ward Marshall Dan Weaver, Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker,

Silver Sponsors Tax Assessor Denise Edwards, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., and New Light Baptist Church, Councilman Terika Williams-Walker of Dist. B, Judge Jeff Cox, Webster Printing Company b1 Bank, Expressions Yard Art, and Bronze Sponsors Councilman Wayne Edwards of Dist. A, Councilman Vincen Bradford of Dist. C, Yocum Law Firm, and Men of Favor Mentoring, and Vintage Car Club.


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