Essay Winners

2020 Martin Luther King Celebration

Thank You All --

Thank you to all -- singers, speakers, writers, organizers, and audience members -- who joined in this year's celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here are the winning entries in the 2020 MLK Essay Contest, part of an annual event by Ventures in Community.

3rd Place: If I Cannot Do Great Things, I Can Do Small Things in a Great Way, by Victoria Laffittie

2nd Place: Hate Cannot Drive Out Hate, by Turner Bumbary

1st Place: No Person Too Small, by Obinna Ekeagwu

Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk and essay winners

Supervisor Lusk and Essay Winners

Lusk and essay winners:  Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk (second from left) congratulates the three student essay winners, Turner Bumbary (second place), Obinna Ekeaqwu (first place), and Victoria Laffittie (third place).


Dr. Abe Smith

Dr. Eric Williams

Dr. Eric Williams

Dr. Abe Smith

Dr. Abe Smith, Pastor of First AME Baptist Church and MLK event director.

Dr. Eric Williams

Dr. Eric Williams

Dr. Eric Williams

Dr. Eric Williams

Dr. Eric William, Curator, National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Thank You Performers

Bethlehem Baptist Church Choir

Bethlehem Baptist Church Choir


Mount Vernon Unitarian Church Choir


The Trebles


First AME Church Youth Choir


The Home School Chorus


Director Mark Zimmerman turns to include the audience in the finale of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.



Finale: Combined choirs sing Battle Hymn of the Republic directed by Mark Zimmerman, Music Director at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church