Office for Diversity, Ethics, and Access
Director, Steven M. Earle
Tel. 518-474-1265
Fax 518-473-3945

Remember! Celebrate! Act!" - The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

For a PDF Flyer announcing this event, please click here.

We are pleased to announce that the New York State Education Department will be co-sponsoring with our colleagues in the New York State Office of General Services (OGS) an event in recognition of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   This inter-agency initiative will honor Dr. King’s memory with an exhibit of student art and essays. The New York State Education Department and OGS invite children throughout New York State to submit original artwork illustrating Dr. King’s Six Principles and Steps of Nonviolence, or essays about celebrating Dr. King’s birthday throughout the year. 

The Commissioner of Education, Dr. David Milton Steiner and OGS Commissioner, John C. Egan, will acknowledge each entry with a certificate of appreciation for every student who participates in this worthwhile event.  All entries will be displayed on the Concourse of Albany’s Empire State Plaza at the time of the commemorative program Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off!" in January.  Additionally, selected artwork from the submitted entries will be used in the development of next year’s material publicizing and promoting events in Dr. King’s memory.

Last year, nearly 3,500 New York State students, representing 154 schools, participated in this exciting initiative.  With your continued commitment, we hope to increase student participation in this exciting and unique opportunity!

The following information and enclosed list of Dr. King’s Six Principles and Six Steps of Nonviolence will provide you with additional details.  Please note that the essay component is designed to encourage students to examine the ways in which they can celebrate Dr. King’s birthday all year long.  We look forward to your contribution to both these efforts with artwork and essays.

Please note that all entries must be postmarked no later than Monday, December 6, 2010.



  • To understand that January 17, 2011 commemorates the birthday of Dr. King and reminds all Americans of his dreams and goals for this nation
  • To have the opportunity to take part in the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday
  • To reflect on ways to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday and legacy in everyday life
  • To have the opportunity to learn about the social, political and economic factors that contributed to the civil rights movement
  • To learn about the philosophy of nonviolence as practiced by Dr. King and to understand its relevance for today’s society
  • To appreciate and respect the contributions and rights of others without regard to the similarities or differences they may present


*  Painting     * Drawing       * Sculpting      * Photography   *         Writing


* Distribute to students the enclosed Dr. King’s Six Principles and Six Steps of Nonviolence

* Encourage students to create:

    • Artwork based on one or more of Dr. King’s principals and/or
    • Essays about the ways in which they can celebrate Dr. King’s birthday all year long


    GRADE LEVELS        

All students enrolled in grades K-12 in New York State public and non-public schools are eligible to submit entries:

*      Level 1:          Kindergarten - 3rd grade
*      Level 2:          4th grade - 6th grade
*      Level 3:          7th grade - 8th grade
*      Level 4:          9th grade - 12th grade

Each school should select its best entries at each level.  Selections should be made by determining each student’s ability to demonstrate a clear understanding and utilization of Dr. King’s Philosophy of Nonviolence in his/her entry.


  • A maximum of one piece of artwork and one essay entry may be submitted per student.   Group work within each level is permitted.
  • A 3” by 5” card with the title and brief description of the work must be submitted with each entry.
  • All entry information must be neatly printed or typed.  In order to ensure all participants will receive a Certificate of Appreciation, the student’s name, grade, and school name and address must be on the back of the entry.
  • Paintings, drawings and photographs should be no larger than 22" x 28".
  • Essays should be one typed page in length.
  • Artwork must be neatly matted for display purposes, and should be mailed flat, rather than in poster tubes.
  • Sculptures should be packed in sturdy containers.
  • For heavier paintings, students should place hanging wire or hooks on the back of artwork so that it can be displayed.
  • Each school should designate an official who will be responsible for submitting his/her school’s selected entries with a typed statement on school letterhead describing the entries along with a type-written list of students that participated from the school.

Please note:

  • We are not responsible for lost or damaged entries.
  • All entries become the property of the State of New York and will not be returned.
  • All entries must be postmarked no later than Monday, December 6, 2010 to be included in the display.
  • Every participating student will receive a Certificate of Appreciation during the spring of 2011.


Ms. Flonzina Haizlip Moore
Assistant Director
Office of Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise & Community Relations
NYS Office of General Services
Empire State Plaza, Concourse, Room 116
Albany, New York 12242
(518) 486-9866 – (518) 486-9053 Fax



PRINCIPLE ONE:      Kingian Nonviolence is Not for Cowards.

  • Nonviolence has a complete disrespect for violence.  It will not adopt violent tactics to reach its goal and will avoid violence in resolving conflicts and problems.
  • Dr. King stressed the importance of resisting violence in any form. He preferred and recommended nonviolence because it represented a more humane, noble and honorable method in the path to justice.
  • Nonviolence is affirmatively standing not only against what is wrong but also for what is right and just.

PRINCIPLE TWO:     The Beloved Community is a World of Peace with Justice.

  • The Beloved Community is a framework for developing a future in which one can deal effectively with unjust conditions.
  • The "Ends and Means" is dealt with by this principle. You cannot achieve just ends by unjust means; you cannot use violent means to achieve peaceful ends.

PRINCIPLE THREE:        Attack Injustice, Not Persons Doing Unjust Deeds.

  • Humor, anger and indignation about conditions were the focus of Dr. King's energy and attention.  People are not the problem; what must be changed are the conditions under which some people operate.
  • Focusing anger and indignation on personalities is not only violent, but often produces more violence or apathy about the real problems and conditions.

PRINCIPLE FOUR:   Accept Suffering Without Retaliation for the Sake of the Cause to Achieve a Goal.

  • Suffering is not to be confused with further harm to one's self or "self-victimization." Acceptance of harsh and unmerited punishment for a just cause helps the individual and the community grows in spiritual and humanitarian dimensions.
  • Willingness to endure hardship for a clearly defined just cause can have an impact on those committing acts of violence as well as on the larger community.

PRINCIPLE FIVE:      Avoid Internal Violence of the Spirit as Well as External Physical Violence.

  • Our attitudes and commitment to practicing nonviolence, when faced with violence or issues, are communicated through our actions, which in turn are determined by our attitudes.
  • Body language as well as verbal expression communicate our real feelings and thoughts about a particular situation. Internal conflicts and violent feelings color these expressions.

PRINCIPLE SIX:               The Universe is on the Side of Justice.

  • Society is oriented to a just sense of order in the universe. Nonviolence is in tune with this concept, and the movement must strike this chord in society.
  • Every person is opposed to wrong and unjust behavior in a particular situation. Given our understanding of the problem, we must never lose hope that human beings, even our opponents, are able to respond.



STEP ONE:       Information Gathering

  • Information gathering is not simply a fact-finding process, but must relate to a specific context, people and place.
  • Dr. King believed in listening and respecting the opinions of other people, whether they were poor people, uneducated or of a different color.

STEP TWO:       Education

  • Non-violence's use of all available communications and media to educate the public about the issue or injustice at hand.
  • Education can mean helping people to realize their ability to effect change and to act on solving major social problems.
  • Like holding a mirror up to the community, nonviolent approaches to education reveal the unique situation and reflect the need for a better and just image.

STEP THREE:    Personal Commitment

  • Self-examination of all the ways that one may have helped to perpetuate a problem or unjust situation or where one has failed to use the nonviolent approach.
  • Developing spiritual and intellectual habits fosters nonviolence by dealing with one's own emotions or lack of understanding the truth.

STEP FOUR:      Negotiation

  • Non-violent negotiation does not humiliate or defeat your opponent.
  • To prepare for negotiation, Dr. King always stressed the importance of learning about your opponents: e.g., their religious traditions, personal traditions, personal or business histories, and educational background.
  • Nonviolence always allows your opponents to save face and "winning your opponent over" allows for joint responsibility in correcting the problem.

STEP FIVE:         Direct Action

  • This step has two meanings: the first, to take responsibility for doing something about the situation and not waiting for someone else to do it; and the second, to take direct action when all attempts at education, personal commitment, and negotiation have failed to resolve the problem, and more dramatic measures are necessary.

STEP SIX:           Reconciliation

  • The goal of nonviolence is a reconciled world so that we can move forward together to tackle the larger issues we confront as a community.
  • This step grows naturally out of Dr. King's belief that we focus not on persons but on conditions and if the issues remain clear throughout the process, reconciliation will facilitate the feeling of joint accomplishment and enhance acceptance of the change.
Last Updated: October 4, 2010