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.

2022 MLK Jr. Legacy Day Creativity Contest

Babson’s Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Day celebration will take place on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, and will feature a keynote address by James Blake, retired professional tennis player and author of Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together.

This year’s celebration also includes a creativity contest. We invite current graduate and undergraduate students to submit creative works made in response to one of the following prompts drawn from James Blake's book, Ways of Grace. Your creative work may take the form of a non-fiction essay, sculpture, poem, short story, painting, photograph, or spoken word performance, or other creative form. Winners of this creativity contest will be announced during the celebration on February 16, 2022.

For the 2022 Creativity Contest, please consider and respond to ONE of the following prompts. Your response will be a creative work in the medium of your choice. Submissions to the creativity contest are due to the Office of Multicultural and Identity Programs in the Glavin Family Chapel or via by Friday, January 21, 2022.

Questions can be directed to Brian Duggan at

1. Grace in Critical Moments

James Blake opens his book, Ways of Grace, with the following words: “It is a funny thing the moment when your perception of the world changes.” The moment he refers to here is the well-publicized 2015 incident during which a plain-clothes NYPD officer–mistaking Blake for someone else suspected of wrongdoing on evidently racial grounds–tackled Blake on a sidewalk without warning, held him in handcuffs for over ten minutes, and refused to acknowledge the grievous error in both judgment and conduct afterward.

What moment or moments have changed your perception of the world and have driven you, as Blake was driven, to make a positive impact?

2. Legacies of Grace

James Blake largely credits fellow tennis pro Arthur Ashe with inspiring his activist spirit. Blake writes: “A man of many firsts on and off the court, Ashe was the first African American to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon and the US Open, and the first black American to be ranked number one in the world. Using his platform, Ashe pushed to create inner-city tennis programs for teens, and he was an advocate against apartheid in South America.” So inspired by Ashe is Blake, that his book’s title, Ways of Grace, is an homage to Ashe’s memoir Days of Grace.

In what ways has the grace of others inspired your own, and how can we ourselves work to inspire grace in others?

3. Grace Through Mediation

James Blake writes: “Today, more than ever, our country feels divided and divisive. We are operating more on fear and a need to isolate ourselves. But that is never the answer. We should instead make an effort to get to know our neighbors, especially if they are different, ethnically, culturally, or religiously from us. So much of our communication today isn't personal, it is digital, especially via social media such as Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. We don't have as much of a personal interaction with one another anymore … This doesn't allow us as citizens to really get to know our neighbors or our community. And if they are different from us, all we know is what we see in the media or read about, which could contribute to fear. That makes it so much easier to fall victim to divisive rhetoric.”

What recourse is there for unity in this era of division, and what role does grace play?

Thank you and good luck!


First Place: Xiomara Kelly ’21
Second Place: Skylar Jackenthal ’23
Third Place: Gioia de la Feld ’21


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

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