MidAmerica Nazarene University has partnered with the Olathe School District and the City of Olathe’s Human Relations Commission to sponsor the Celebrate Diversity 2012 contest for middle and high school students. “Martin Luther King Legacy: The Courage to Believe” is the theme for this annual event that honors the best entries in essay, visual arts and multi-media categories.

According to Victor Glover, human relations manager for the City of Olathe, the goal of the annual contest is to increase awareness, foster greater understanding, and celebrate the diverse groups which make up the Olathe community.

“It is this understanding of each other’s differences and living in harmony that give me hope that one day race will not be an issue in our society,” Glover says. “The City of Olathe and the Olathe School District are very fortunate to have MNU as our presenting sponsor for this year’s event.  Their level of social responsibility and commitment is evident as stated in their mission statement, “to educate and inspire servant leaders.” 

The entries which were submitted in November will progress through several stages of judging in December and January. Nine to 15 judges for the contest, recruited from the Olathe NAACP, the community and the Olathe Human Relations Commission, will have the difficult job of choosing from many worthy entries.

The entries will be on display for the public to view at the MLK Community Open House on Jan. 12, 2012 at Olathe’s City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with final judging taking place at 5:30 p.m. Winners of the senior high division will be awarded $100-300 and middle school division winners will be awarded $75-200. Additionally, a $500 Best of Show award will be presented.

Winners of the contest will be presented with their awards at the MLK Noonday Celebration on January 13, at Prairie Trail Middle School, 21600 W. 107th Street from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Winners will also be honored on January 16 at MNU’s 6th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Prayer Breakfast. The public is also invited to attend that event and may RSVP by contacting Evie Kowalewski at ekowalewski@mnu.edu or (913) 971-3391.