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Feb. 21: Legacy of MLK honored with art competition, exhibition, showcase

For the first time in the school’s history, the School of Languages, Cultures and Race will host the 4th annual Art for Social Change Competition and Showcase.

The public is invited to enjoy the exhibition Feb. 17–March 1 in Gallery 3 of the Fine Arts Building on the WSU Pullman campus.

The school will award the winners of the competition 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, during Showcase.

The school hopes to shine a light on artwork from students that express the significance of social justice, community building and black history.

Students from all campuses were invited to submit their creative work in one of the four categories:

  • Remembering MLK
  • Social Justice in Action
  • Community‑building at WSU
  • Campus Civic Poet

Within these categories, student submissions ranged from paintings, drawings, digital media, posters, sculptures, poetry, creative writing and music to celebrate the legacy of MLK, black history, and current social justice advancements.

The Remembering MLK category commemorates the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the legacy of MLK. In the Social Justice in Action category, the artwork addresses the contemporary issues of inequality and injustice at a local or global level.

In the Community‑building category, the submissions foster an inclusive community at WSU. Lastly, the Campus Civic Poet category highlights demonstrations of civic engagement at WSU, as expressed by student poets.

In 2016, the competition became a reality after Kenzie Koehn, former program coordinator, and Ana M. Rodriguez‑Vivaldi, associate professor and associate dean of Student Affairs and Global Education in the College of Arts and Sciences, developed the concept of the competition in 2015.

This competition became an annual event sponsored by the Martin Luther King Committee and the Office of Equity and Diversity and spread to the community, opening submissions to Pullman school district students to include their MLK‑related artwork.

The competition permanently transitioned over to the School of Languages, Cultures and Race in Fall 2018. The school enthusiastically accepted the program because it met the school’s mission to promote social justice and their interdisciplinary vision.

This year’s competition awards are co‑sponsored by the Department of Fine Arts, Department of English, the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race, and the Martin Luther King Committee.

Sponsors of the event include the School of Languages, Cultures and Race; Department of English; Department of Fine Arts; Japanese Student Association; and the Martin Luther King Committee.



  • Lauren Jasmer, administrative assistant, School of Languages, Cultures and Race, 509‑335‑2949,,
  • Krista Brand, program assistant, Fine Arts, 509‑335‑8686,

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