MLK art, essay contest winners

Herald Democrat
Winners of the OCM art contest are presented with award certificates.

The Our Community Matters Council (OCMC) is pleased to announce the winners of the First Annual OCMC Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay and Art Contest.  Essay winners are Callie Wright (first place), Mackenzie Hayes (second place) and Izac Miller (third place).  Art contest winners are Lilly Mitchell (first place), Cody Askins (second place) and Victoria Gomez (third place).

“We would like to thank those educators and their students who participated in this contest,“ said Pastor Stuart P. Courtney, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church and leader of the OCMC.

Organizers reported receiving 179 entries of art and 15 essay entries.   Winners received gift cards donated by local supporters.

“We are so grateful for the thoughtful and inspiring entries from the youth who shared what they understand about the life and work of this legendary civil rights giant,” said Courtney.

Our Community Matters Council was started in 2020 and exists to improve and inspire community involvement in matters related to injustice and racism with an overall goal of partnering with city leaders, law enforcement and citizens of the community for the greater good of our community.

The OCMC vision is to promote positive and purposeful evolution that allows Fannin County to be a unified community, committed to equality and justice for all. Working unilaterally with citizens from all races and backgrounds to create a culture of respect and promote harmony, increase opportunities for educational, economic and health care improvements.

OCMC was started in Bonham as a follow up response to a peaceful march for racial equity.  In June of 2020, on the parking lot of Bethlehem Baptist Church of Bonham, Texas the faith community and citizens of Fannin County gathered for a peaceful protest to stand against racial injustice, police brutality and to advocate unity in the community. Participants marched with members of local law enforcement and concluded the march across from Bonham Police Department. The gathering included speeches of unity from city leaders, a proclamation from the city of Bonham, and inspiring words from concerned citizens. Closing remarks included a commitment to follow up meetings which resulted in the formation of Our Community Matters Council.

The OCMC was formed through applications submitted by citizens, and volunteers from various county and city organizations. There are four operating committees within the council including: Social Justice Advocacy, Unity in the Community, Health & Economics Empowerment and Education Equality & Enhancements.  For more information about OCMC, follow their Facebook page “Our Community Matters Fannin County” or contact Pastor Courtney at (903) 583-8061.