Reviving the Dream


We've extended our submission deadline to March 24th!

Contest  Overview

American Bible Society is awarding $12,000 in cash scholarships to high school students all across the country. We're looking for juniors and seniors to submit an essay or spoken-word performance video that highlights the life work of Dr. Martin Luther King. 

A unique scholarship has been established for high school students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg totaling an additional $12,000. See details below!


Essay Guidelines

  • Must be high school junior or senior. 

  • Essays must be typed, double spaced and in the Microsoft Word format. 

  • Essays must be submitted individually. 

  • Essays must be 300-500 words. 

  • Essays will be judged on writing skill, grammar, insight into modern issues, and connection to Dr. King’s “Dream”


Spoken Word Guidelines

  • The spoken word performance must be captured on video and uploaded to a Vimeo or YouTube channel. 

  • Participants should submit the link of their Vimeo or YouTube spoken word performance video to the form below.

  • The performance should not be any longer than 3 minutes in length. 

  • The spoken word performance will be judged based on creativity, presentation, originality of thought, and connection to Dr. King's Biblical message of justice and equality. 

Spoken Word Prompt: 

“I Have a Dream, Too.”

Create a video (no longer than 3 minutes) with a spoken word presentation related to the following question:

Based on the ideas and important work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., what is your dream for a future of justice and equality?

Dr. King was many things—a reformer, a leader, an organizer—but more than anything, he was a preacher, and he offered the power of the Bible in answer to the problems of his time. “Let justice roll down like waters,” he preached, “and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).

So how do you think justice will flow through our nation in the future?

Consider the following: Fifty years from now, how will the people in your city treat one another? Will there be justice and equality in education, housing, jobs, the court system?


Essay Prompt:

“Letter to Dr. King”

Write an essay, in the form of a letter to Dr. King, of 300-500 words.

Choose two of the following questions to answer in your letter to Dr. King:

  • What would you want to tell him about life today?
  • What has happened to his dream?
  • How has his dream changed the world?
  • What changes still need to be made?
  • What hope do you have for the future?

Remember that he was a man of prayer and a man of the Bible. So how are you praying for your world? Is there a Bible verse that you find meaningful?

 Here are some Bible verses that Dr. King often quoted:

  • Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you . . .” (Matthew 5:43)
  • “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24)
  • Good Samaritan story (Luke 10:25-37)

Maybe your letter to Dr. King could say what one of those Bible passages means to you.

Click here for complete official rules and guidelines.





Prizes will be awarded to the top three entries in each category;
three Charlotte contest winners as well as three national contest winners.
The scholarship prize amounts to $12,000 for each contest, totaling $24,000 overall.
National Contest

1st place (Essay) - $3000
1st place (Spoken Word) - $3000 

2nd place (Essay) - $2000
2nd place (Spoken Word) - $2000

3rd place (Essay) - $1000
3rd place (Spoken Word) - $1000

Charlotte Contest

1st place (Essay) - $3000
1st place (Spoken Word) - $3000 

2nd place (Essay) - $2000
2nd place (Spoken Word) - $2000

3rd place (Essay) - $1000
3rd place (Spoken Word) - $1000