Creativity Contest

Martin Luther King, Jr. Creativity Contest

Babson students each year contribute to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Day event by sharing creative, moving works inspired by the year's theme.

2021 Creativity Contest

Each year, Babson students are encouraged to submit creative works – essay, sculpture, photography, poetry, painting, spoken word, and other media – that focus on the annual theme of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Day event. For 2021, students were asked to write a response to quotes taken from Dr. King's final book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

Congratulations to this year's contest winners! Take a look at the inspired works of our top prize recipients.

Xiomara Kelly '21

First Place Winner


My bones have been bought and sold. So I carry a machete in my mouth. I come from generations of trauma, violated orifices, bloodied backs, and empty eyes. The United States punishes those that endeavor to be conscious. But for some, like MLK, it was not a choice, it was a curse of consciousness. Unfortunately, MLK endeavored to exercise consciousness and paid the price by being on the wrong side of the banality of evil. A mind beyond his time, King knew that the biggest investment one can make is in people, people seeking to have their passion and purpose roused and directed for the greater good of humanity. As a cognizant and intuitive species, the soul is the center from which we live our lives. When the soul is not heard no one is heard. Be it in our passions, work, hobbies, or people. Life is good at giving you space, but without a map from which to navigate its austere and lonely offices, it’s worthless. It is this feeling of being lost without morale that King is capturing in this quote. Whether a worker or CEO, one will not do anything unless they feel invested in it. King knew that he wanted to help build a society in which worth is instilled, not bought or granted. And just like MLK, I was raised knowing my worth. 


I Was Raised 

I was raised by clothespins and jelly shoes,

5am fluorescent lights and steaming hot avena.

I was raised by pleated collared shirts and Celia Cruz. 

Raised by macaroni and cheese, black eyed peas, and a baconeggncheese. 

I was raised by plastic covered couches and Clorox bleach with 3 steppers in the house because everything was difficult to reach. 

I was raised by a mother with a heart immeasurably larger than her size, and a father with the most warming eyes.


I was raised by cast iron pots and caramel candies,

Black power quotes and crying babies.

I was raised knowing “whomever n them”

And “say bendicion!”


I was raised with a greased scalp and saliva filled kisses, prep school days and Bronx night wishes. 

I was raised to know that quiet moments would find me a delightful treat. 

I was raised knowing that loyalty, respect, and reputation would say a lot about the kind of woman you are.

I was raised with parents that told me

“I love you more than you love yourself” with a name undefined by anything but inner wealth.


Skylar Jackenthal '23

Second Place Winner



Haunted by Our Past 

Have you ever heard of the phrase, “two steps forwards one step back”?

That is how I imagine for many in this country it feels to be black.

Progress is not linear, that I know to be true,

Though it is now so rare for the movement to have even a little breakthrough.

I am proud to live in a time where people fight with their fists held proudly in the air,

Even though it rarely feels like that fight might actually get us anywhere.

Daily I turn on the news and see change being fought for through protest,

However I don’t see progress, I see beatings, assault, slurs and far too many arrests.

I see George Floyd yelling I can’t breathe as he is surrounded by cops who don’t seem to care

And bystanders filming as he gasps for his last breath of air.

I see Breonna Taylor shot to death as she sleeps soundly in her own bed,

And no punishment for the cops who left an innocent woman dead.

Or how about the 12-year-old boy named Tamir Rice,

How different his life could have been if that cop had just thought twice.

MLK once said “it feels as though you are moving backwards but in fact you are moving ahead”,

However I don’t think he thought that 50 years after his death discrimination and hate would still continue to spread.

It has been over 150 years since the emancipation of slaves in 1863,

So why does this country act like people of color were just barely made free.

Two lifetimes ago we thought it acceptable to make a black man a slave,

Two lifetimes we have had to finally learn to behave.

Everyday people pay the price for the color of their skin,

All because society thinks to be dark is a sin.

Insurmountable numbers of black men, women and children have been killed in the land of the free,

Cops too prejudiced to think for one minute a person of color might not be guilty.

But I am done watching innocent people be murdered in the home of the brave,

I am done watching any person of color be treated like a slave.

I’m not sure I believe in god but for progress I will pray,

Because if we do not change soon, there will be great consequences for which we will pay.

Gioia de la Feld '21

Third Place Winner


MLK 2021 by Gioia de la Feld

2021 Contest Prompt

For the 2021 Creativity Contest, please consider and respond to one of the following statements by Dr. King.  Your response will be a creative work in the medium of your choice.

  • “First, the line of progress is never straight. For a period a movement may follow a straight line and then it encounters obstacles and the path bends. It is like curving around a mountain when you are approaching a city. Often it feels as though you were moving backward, and you lose sight of your goal; but in fact you are moving ahead, and soon you will see the city again, closer by.”
  • “But dignity is also corroded by poverty no matter how poetically we invest the humble with simple graces and charm. No worker can maintain his morale or sustain his spirit if in the market place his capacities are declared to be worthless to society.”
  • “In the days ahead we must not consider it unpatriotic to raise certain basic questions about our national character.”
  • “Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

Thank you to all of our contest participants this year!

First Place: Gioia de la Feld ‘21
Second Place: Melissa Denizard ‘20
Third Place: Wes Woodson ‘20

First Place: Gioia de la Feld ‘21
Second Place: Melissa Denizard ‘20
Third Place: Aswini Melekote ‘19

First Place: Melissa Denizard ‘20
Second Place: NiaChloe Bowman ‘19
Third Place: Temilayo Awefeso ‘20

First Place: NiaChloe Bowman ‘19
Second Place: Yulkendy Valdez ‘17
Third Place: Salome Mosehle ‘18

First Place: Chi Obasi ‘16
Second Place: Bradley Darling ‘18
Third Place: Savannah Carlin ‘17

First Place: Emily Purdom ‘18
Second Place: Leinado Marte ‘18
Third Place: Bradley Darling ‘18

First Place: Evan DeBaise ’14
Second Place: Chi Obasi ’16
Third Place: Yulkendy Valdez ’17

Creativity Contest
First Place: Juan Martinez ‘15
Second Place: Manuel Paredes '14

Speech Contest
Kadia Tubman ‘13

Creativity Contest
First Place: Ali Khan ‘14
Second Place: Cathy Bao ‘12

Speech Contest
First Place: Christian Lewis ‘13
Second Place: Kate Anderson ‘14

Creativity Contest
First Place: Marie Pierre ‘12
Second Place: Mercedes Ercarnation-Mandes ‘12

Speech Contest
First Place: Kadia Tubman ‘13
Second Place: Nohely Artega ‘11

Creativity Contest
First Place: Mona Gimenez ‘11
Second Place: Jamaal Eversley ‘10

Speech Contest
First Place: Kadia Tubman ‘13
Second Place: Robin Lee Allen ‘11

Creativity Contest
Tied for First Place:
Marie Pierre ‘12 and Brandon Lane ‘10

Speech Contest
First Place: Rayshawn Whitford ‘12
Second Place: Aaron Hartman ‘09

Creativity Contest
First Place: Obenewaa Boakye ‘11
Second Place: Shaina Silva ‘08

Speech Contest
First Place: Sarah English ‘08
Second Place: Sterling Charles ‘08
Third Place: Tommy Wenzlau ‘10

Speech Contest
First Place: Sarah English ’08
Second Place: Asad Rahim ’07

Speech Contest
Alvin Wade ’07
Maxwell Owen ’09


Speech Contest
Anand Dholakia M’05
Barbara Wong ’05


Speech Contest
Jason Bedrick ’05
Jason Clinkscales ’04