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DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Scholarship Competition
Be Original. Be Bold. Enter the MLK Scholarship Competition.
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2014 MLK Competition Question
The Voting Rights Act (Act of 1965) was enacted to address racial discrimination in voting. In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder struck down the coverage formula used in Section 4 of the Act. This section of the Act is a key provision, which includes a formula for defining which jurisdictions have prerequisite rules to voting and had low voter registration or turnout. In such jurisdictions, Section 5 of the Act provides that no change to the voting procedures can take effect until the procedures are approved by the Department of Justice.
If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive, would he advocate to revise Section 4 of the Act to include a new formula for deciding which states and localities warrant federal monitoring based on their histories of discriminatory anti-voting rules?
Please discuss why or why not.
March 31, 2014 *
* Regions may change essay deadlines. Contact your regional director for more information.
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July 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition is a contest designed to motivate high school students to excel in education. The Competition encourages students to express their views on a pre-selected topic and focuses on the ability of the students to communicate orally and in writing. The Competition is also designed to give young people experience in public speaking and reviewing legal documents as well as provide an opportunity for them to obtain some financial support to continue their education.
The NBA’s first annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition was held at its 75th Annual Convention in Washington, D.C., in 2000. As a result of the overwhelming success of the Competition, the NBA, with the support of the NBI, adopted it as a national program.
The topics of the Competition are always considered from the point of view of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and have included:
• Law enforcement treatment of persons of Arab descent and of the Muslim faith in terrorist investigations.
• The need for reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
• Recommendations for action on the 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act to address the continuing problem of voter disenfranchisement in minority communities.
• The treatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system.
• The right of same-sex couples to marry.
• Repealing of Stand Your Ground Laws.