Selma Essay Contest

How will you use your words to make a change? #MarchOn



MCT Campus

Colleen Rock, Staff Writer

In partnership with Paramount Pictures and made possible though a grant from John Templeton Foundation, there is a speech/essay contest based on the movie Selma. The movie tells the famous story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery, along with his influential speech “I Have a Dream,” that were all part of American Civil Rights Movement.

The contest is open to high school students living in the United States, from ages 14-18, and enrolled in public, private, home schooled, or in a parochial high school. After watching the movie, contestants will respond to the contest topic with an original 500-700 word essay, as well as a videotaped speech of them reading their essay.

The contest topic is a discussion about what the contestant thinks needs to be done today to protect individual freedom and self-determination, along with what they are doing or will be doing to peacefully advance those rights.

There will be prizes for contestants that do well, such as:

  • One grand prize of $5,000
  • First runner up, $2,500
  • Second runner up, $1,000
  • Seven honorable mentions, $500 each

Teacher or mentors who sponsor a top 10 finalist will also get a $300 cash prize.

February 15, 2015 11:59pm EST is the deadline for submissions. Winners will be notified in March, and in April 20-22, 2015 there will be an Award Ceremony in Philadelphia, PA. For more information go to