Sen. Murphy's Essay Challenge

January 5, 2017

As we approach the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Senator Chris Murphy is inviting students from Connecticut school districts to participate in his first Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Essay Challenge. 

Once winners are chosen, Senator Murphy will Skype with or visit the classes of the chosen winners in person to publicly commend them on their essays. In addition, selected essays will be displayed in Senator Murphy’s office in Washington, DC. Here are the challenge details:

Senator Chris Murphy's Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Challenge Question

Recognizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday as a Federal holiday was signed into law in 1983, taking effect 3 years later.  Since that time, on the third Monday of January every year we celebrate the life and dream of Dr. King, the impact he made on our nation, and the work that remains to be done to fulfill his vision. For this essay, students should reflect on what Dr. King’s dream was and what he would think about his dream today. Students should further answer what their own dream is and how it relates to the work of Dr. King.

  • Essays can be submitted electronically to TJ Clarke at or mailed to the Hartford office at 120 Huyshope Ave., Hartford, CT 06106.  
  • Open to students K-12 – 500-1000 words for high school (grades 9-12), 300-500 for middle school (grades 6-8), 100-200 for elementary school (grades K-5, pictures optional for elementary school submissions)
  • Deadline January 16, 2017