Winner Announced For MLK Essay Contest

To honor the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, the Golden Valley Human Rights Commission (HRC) sponsored a “MLK Day Literary Contest” this winter. Hopkins student Joseph Ramlet won first place for his essay, “Understanding by Collaborating: A Reflection on Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.”


Joseph Ramlet

“I was surprised and proud and honored to win,” Ramlet says.

For the contest, students in grade 6–12 in Hopkins, Robbinsdale Area, Perpich, and Breck Schools entered written work of 500 words or less. Submissions were judged on content applicable to the theme “Making Lives Matter,” and how students creatively expressed how to realize the dream of making lives matter.

“The big thing is that we all need to start to understand each other better, and to do that, we need to start actively working toward that, and collaborating and working together,” Ramlet says.

Ramlet, 15, is a sophomore at Hopkins High School and no stranger to community involvement and collaboration. He’s a member of the student council and is the sophomore school representative. He’s on the Golden Valley Environmental Commission.  He’s also a part of the Police Explorer program with the Minnesota State Patrol.

“When writing the essay, I thought about not just what Dr King did, but what the climate is like in the world today with the divisiveness and conflict with racial relations,” Ramlet says. “I based my essay around how we can use his teachings today. I think it’s something we all need to work on.”

He says he’s optimistic about his generation and where we go from here.

“We in the younger generation look up and see that divisiveness isn’t working,” he says. “A lot of things aren’t going too well right now, and we can tell we need to work to understand each other better and find different ways to reach agreement.”

Ramlet won tickets to the Jan 15 Minneapolis MLK Day Celebration and was invited to present his piece at a Jan 14 MLK celebration at Brookview Golden Valley.

Read his essay here.

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