2020 MLK Essay Contest

The City of Dallas welcomes applications for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Essay Contest. The contest will award scholarships up to $50K to graduating high school seniors or first year students currently enrolled in a college level educational institution (2-yr College, 4-yr College, or Trade School). The essay must be original, and will be evaluated on organization, content, syntax, grammar, and overall conformity to the event theme: “Linking Many Cultures Together for One Dream.” All essays must be typed and follow APA formatting.


  1. Resident, City of Dallas;
  2. Graduating High School Senior; or
  3. First year student enrolled (or accepted) in a 2-yr/4-yr College or Trade School

All applications must be submitted by 5 p.m., Friday, December 13, 2019. Scholarship winners will be notified by Wednesday, January 6, 2020. Please note, essay contest winners will be asked to attend and participate in three events hosted by the City of Dallas during the MLK Commemorative Celebration Week: 1. Candlelight Ceremony; 2. MLK Scholarship Gala on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in downtown Dallas (there will be a ticket for the student and one (1) guest); 3. MLK Parade.

Incomplete applications WILL NOT be considered.

Applications must be submitted online. Link to online application: https://app.keysurvey.com/f/1446296/def5/

Scan QR Code:

Should you have any questions, please send an email to info@dallasmlkcenter.com.


Sponsorship funding will support the implementation of community events and the
development of a scholarship fund, with scholarships to be presented at the Gala.
Sponsorship benefits and levels are outlined in the attached packet. Sponsorship forms should be
submitted by Friday, December 20, 2019. 

Download our 2020 MLK Sponsorship Packet.

Sponsorship Levels

  • Presenting: $25,000+
  • Platinum: $10,000+
  • Gold: $5,000+
  • Silver: $2,500+
  • Bronze: $1,000+
  • Supporter: $250+ (before December 1, 2019)

If you have any questions about sponsorship, please contact Jamel Slaughter,
Ph.D., Program Administrator for the Office of Community Care, at (214) 671-5117 or via email


Donated funds will enable the City to provide the week’s events to the public free of charge, except for the Scholarship Gala, which requires a ticket purchase. Beyond providing support to the events of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week, donations will also support the development of the City of Dallas’ new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund. Scholarships will be presented at the 38th annual gala event.