Art contest for new MLK license plate launched

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Utah is getting a new license plate to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and wants the state’s 7th through 12th-grade students to design it.

The Utah MLK Jr., Human Rights Commission, has announced they are seeking submissions of original artwork from Utah’s middle school and high school kids to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

According to the commission, “The Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission decided to host an art contest for the official state decal of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. license plate to promote diversity, equity and human rights across the state. The accompanying slogan of ‘Many Voices, One Utah’ also calls for unity and partnership from all groups.”

The selected winner will have their artwork featured as the official state decal on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. license plate.

Eddy Thompson, another member of the commission said, “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. summoned the best qualities that have guided and sustained the American spirit while strengthening our nation’s commitment to equality, justice, freedom, and peace. He awakened the necessary goodness of all people and led a nonviolent movement that enriched our moral purpose as a nation. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. raised the consciousness of our country through his personal dream where all people are judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I believe this license plate will show that we care about the content of one’s character and not the color of one’s skin. This license plate will show our nation that Utah is committed to equality, freedom, justice, and peace!”

FILE – In this Oct. 19, 1960 file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. under arrest by Atlanta Police Captain R.E. Little, left rear, passes through a picket line outside Rich’s Department Store, in atlanta. On King’s right are Atlanta Student Movement leader Lonnie King and Spelman College student Marilyn Pryce. Holding the sign is Spelman student activist Ida Rose McCree. Following the publication of “An Appeal for Human Rights” on March 9, 1960, students at Atlanta’s historically black colleges waged a nonviolent campaign of boycotts and sit-ins protesting segregation at restaurants, theaters, parks and government buildings. (AP Photo, File)

The winning artwork will promote diversity, equity, social justice, and human rights.

The new license plate was approved by the State Legislature during the 2020 general session.

The winning artist will be determined by Jan. 8, 2021, and will join members of the Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission in a public unveiling of the decal in the same month. An exact date is to be determined.

The new license plate design will be one of the free license plates for vehicles registered in Utah.

Complete guidelines for the artwork and the submission requirements for the contest can be found at

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