Portsmouth Abbey Student Wins Martin Luther King Junior Essay Contest

Congratulations to Sawyer Robinson '23, a winner in the State of Rhode Island of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission annual essay contest.

In November 2020, the Providence Journal announced the contest for middle school and high school students. Dr. Billings noticed the news article and sent an email seeking students with an interest in participating. Working against a tight deadline Sawyer was able to develop an essay he had started while studying the life and work of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Humanities class.

On Tuesday, January 12, Sawyer received a phone call stating that he was one of four winners of the competition, two middle school and two high school students. The following day he drove to Providence to deliver his speech about Martin Luther King Jr. and to receive his $100 prize, presented this year by the Rhode Island General Assembly and The Providence Journal. The speech was televised on January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, on Rhode Island channels; it is also archived On Demand. 

You can listen to Sawyer's speech by clicking here, beginning at 01:10:27. 

"Reflecting on current times, as we see so much injustice around us and the violence at the Capitol, we must recognize that the work Reverend King pursued is not complete and has to continue. In a time of so much division and rage, we need to recognize that we are truly all in this together. As Reverend King stated, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'"  --Sawyer Robinson '23

For a full copy of the speech, please click here.