Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission Seeks Nominations and Student Submissions 
for 2020 MLK Awards

Photos from 2019 awards

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2020) – The Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission is seeking nominations for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards. Nominations are being sought for the 2020 Leadership Award as well as submissions from students displaying artistic expression in essays, visual artwork and poems.

The Leadership Award recognizes community leaders whose actions demonstrate distinguished service in promoting Dr. King's ideals to further the goals of diversity and justice for all. The student awards encourage youth throughout the Commonwealth to express themselves creatively by reflecting on this year's theme, "How would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspire the nation if he were alive today?"

 The art contest is open to kindergarten through 12th-grade students, the poetry contest is open to sixth through 12th-grade students, and the essay contest is open to fourth through 12th-grade students. All entries must be submitted online by Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

Leadership Award and student first-place contest winners will receive a personalized plaque. Second and third-place contest winners will receive a personalized certificate. First, second and third-place contest winners will be selected from elementary, middle and high school levels.

 The awards are sponsored by the commission and the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office. Awards will be presented at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Celebration in January 2021. Due to COVID-19, this event may be virtual.

For questions, contact Tressa Brown, KHC African American Heritage coordinator, at 502-892-3607 or email Use the following Google links to access entry forms:

Student Visual Art Contest

Student Poetry Contest

Student Essay Contest

Leadership Award

# # #

An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens.


The Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission is composed of members appointed by the Governor from diverse backgrounds in Kentucky life, including individuals associated with labor, industry, commerce, government, civil rights, education, youth organizations, sports, fine arts, and entertainment.

The Commission’s mission is to:

  • Promote the annual MLK holiday each January as an occasion to reflect upon the principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change as espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Encourage appropriate ceremonies and activities relating to the MLK holiday.

  • Promote community service in honor of the principles taught by Dr. King.

  • Provide advice and assistance to local governments and private organizations with respect to observance of the holiday.

  • Promote the holiday for interracial cooperation and youth antiviolence initiatives.

  • Whereas, we honor this mortal man, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who made the ultimate sacrifice; therefore, it is the Commission’s intention to promote unity, equality and justice for all people in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the United States and the world.

Commission Members

Michael Johnson, Lexington, Chair
Kevin Russell, Radcliff, Vice Chair
Pamela S. Dimmerman, Crestview Hills
Waymen Eddings, Louisville
John Q. Johnson, Louisville
Natasha Murray, Lexington
Shannon L. Ramsey, Nicholasville
Vincent Rivera, Lexington
Yvette M. Smith, Frankfort
Isaah Stovall, Lexington
Melvin L. Turner, Louisville
Wanda Washington, Campbellsville
Tiffany N. Yeast, Harrodsburg

MLK Jr. State Commission Upcoming 2020 Meetings

The next meeting of the Kentucky Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission will take place at 1 p.m. Monday, November 9 by Chime video conference, with board members participating from remote locations. The meeting is open to the public via the following links: 

Click to join the meeting:
Meeting ID: 6780 19 0126

A headset is recommended or you may use your computer's microphone and speakers.

 Call in using your phone:
United States Toll-Free (1): +1 855-552-4463
Meeting ID: 6780 19 0126
One-click Mobile Dial-in (United States (1)): +1 206-462-5569,,,6780190126#
United States (1): +1 206-462-5569
Dial-in attendees must enter *7 to mute or unmute themselves.

To connect from an in-room video system, use one of the following Amazon Chime bridges:
SIP video system: or
H.323 system: or
If prompted enter the Meeting PIN: 6780190126#

Download Amazon Chime at

For information about creating an Amazon Chime account, see