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Thank you for attending and supporting the 2023 MLK Celebration Sacramento Event!
See you at the 25th Anniversary MLK Celebration Sacramento on January 27, 2024

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Sacramento
Sacramento State - The University Union

2023 Robert T. Matsui Community Service Award Honoree

The MLK Celebration Sacramento committee is excited to announce Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Public Health Officer for Sacramento County, and Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, President of Sacramento State have been selected to receive the prestigious Robert T. Matsui Community Service Award at the 24th Annual MLK Celebration. 

Dr. Olivia Kasirye, 2023 Award Honoree

Dr. Kasirye has led the Sacramento region through outbreaks of STDs, the deadly H1N1 influenza and an Ebola scare. Dr. Kasirye’s has continued to provide leadership during challenging times, as she remains at the forefront of Sacramento County’s pandemic response. 

Dr. Olivia Kasirye has decades of experience including her work as the Medical Director of the Sacramento County Child Health and Disability Prevention program and the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health program and as the Communicable Disease Controller.

(Sacramento State/Steve McKay)

Dr. Robert S. Nelsen, 2023 Award Honoree

Robert S. Nelsen became Sacramento State’s eighth president on July 1, 2015. As the first in his family to attend college, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science before earning his doctorate at the University of Chicago’s John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought. Dr. Nelsen served in various faculty and administrative roles before being named president of the University of Texas-Pan American. Dr. Nelsen enjoys reading and watching Westerns if he ever finds a moment of leisure. His zeal for theatre and dance makes him a loyal supporter for his students.

At Sacramento State, President Nelsen is committed to ensuring that Sacramento State’s students can graduate on time with less debt. He is a sports enthusiast who loves to support University’s athlete students. He wants students to become lifelong learners and critical thinkers and have an inclusive, safe, and healthy experience on campus.

Please join us on Saturday, January 28, 2023, to honor Dr. Kasirye and Dr. Nelsen.

Enter the 10th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Sacramento Regional Essay Contest | Sponsored by ABC10

The 2023 Essay Contest is now closed for submission.   Please watch this space for 2023 essay contest results and 2024 MLK essay contest information.

Middle and high school students (grades 6-12) are eligible to participate in the 19th Annual MLK Celebration Essay Contest conducted annually by the MLK Celebration Committee and ABC10. Students who who live in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, or Yolo Counties are asked to write an essay of approximately 300 words on the following theme: “Incorporating a quote from Dr. King, describe in writing how you can get involved, take a stand, support Dr. King’s mission and vision for equality, and inspire a more equitable, inclusive, and peaceful society,” and up to six cash prizes are awarded for the best.

Prizes for the high school division are a $500 first-place prize, a $300 second-place prize, and a $200 third-place prize. Prizes for the middle school division are a $250 first-place prize, a $150 second-place prize, $100 third-place prize. Late entries will not be accepted. The submission deadline is December 16, 2022.  Click here for essay contest details.

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King addresses students at Sacramento State College on Oct. 16, 1967. King told the students that the Vietnam War was unjust because it works against the drive for African American equality. He maintained that fighting a war thousands of miles away takes money from the domestic war on poverty. (AP Photo/Walter Zeboski)

Click here to Sponsor the 2024 MLK Celebration Sacramento

MLK 2023-138

MLK Celebration Essay Contest

Congratulations to all the past winners of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest To read the past winning essays, click here.

2023 MLK Celebration Sacramento

The 2023 MLK Celebration will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2023 to celebrate our 24th anniversary by honoring and remembering the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Please join us as we continue this Sacramento tradition to build bridges among our community, elected officials, clergy, nonprofits, students of all ages as we continue to create new paths for a better and brighter future for everyone.

We invite you to commemorate, celebrate and be educated at the 24th anniversary event as we remember the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the tens of thousands of people who have fought and continue to fight for equality across the country.

On behalf of the MLK Celebration Committee, we look forward to seeing you!