YONKERS, NY – January 10, 2018 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Edwin M. Quezada today launched the 2018 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Poem/Video contest. This year’s theme is African Americans in Times of War and asks students to choose an issue in Yonkers that would require a form of collective action for social change. 

“Each year we are pleased to highlight Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  who still serves as one of the greatest leaders in history” said Mayor Mike Spano. “I look forward to reviewing the many entries as it pertains to social change here in the City of Yonkers. I always look forward to hearing the youth’s perspective especially when it involves our future leaders.”

Mayor Spano will select three poems from grades 1-2; 3-4; 5-6 and two videos from grades7-8 and 9-12. Winning poems and videos will be displayed at City Hall and online for Yonkers residents to enjoy. Winners will be presented a certificate from Mayor Spano and also will be asked to present their work at the City’s Annual Black History Month Celebration at City Hall on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm.

Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, Superintendent of Schools stated, “This annual celebration of Dr. King’s contributions to civil rights for all people regardless of their diverse background, as well as the civility of non-violent protest and resistance, are important lessons for all of our students.  This is an exemplary teachable moment that provides an opportunity for students to creatively demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the contributions of African Americans to our country, and the world.”

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Poem Contest is open to all primary and secondary Yonkers students; only one poem/video may be submitted per student. Guidelines and specifications for the contest can be found at Poem and video submissions are due February 2, 2018 and may be emailed to, dropped off to the Mayor’s Office  or by mail to MLK, Jr. Poem Contest, Mayor’s Office, City Hall, 2nd Floor, 40 South Broadway, Yonkers, NY 10701. Winners will be notified on February 8.