top of page


The Central Brooklyn Martin Luther King Commission was formed:


1.       To perpetuate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


2.       To acknowledge his basic principles through the development of appropriate programs and activities that recognize his philosophy of human understanding, racial harmony, social and economic justice through nonviolent means.


3.       To provide a forum for discussion and resolution of problems concerning educational, economic and social issues that impact on community life.


4.       To educate local communities on the significance of Dr. King's movement to secure human and civil rights through his philosophy of non-violent social change and the relevancy of his teachings to society's current problems.


5.       To promote racial harmony and social justice through the application of Dr. King's methodology of empowerment wherein local communities are encouraged to identify, develop and implement programs that foster grassroots economic development and alleviate unemployment, poverty, racism and violence.

Since 1985, the volunteer-led and operated Commission has operated an annual essay, poetry and art contest for Brooklyn's elementary, middle and high school students focused on the life and work of Dr. King and its relevance to today's world.


The founder of the Commission was Congressman Major R. Owens, known as "The Education Congressman," who felt that more needed to be done to make the education curriculum relevant to students -- particularly with regard to social justice issues and the tension between violent and non-violent methods of pursuing change.


Winners of this contest receive a financial award as well as the recognition of their peers and the public.  Alumni of these contests attest to the value of the experience for them.


As the Commission moves forward, the organization will continue its annual contest and Family Celebration, and expand its work to other areas involving education.


Congressman Owens joined the ancestors in October, 2013, but his dreams and aspirations -- just like those of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- live on.


If you would like to be a part of the Commission's "family," please contact us today.  There's so much we can do together to help our young people and our society as a whole.




Mr. Chris Owens


1st Vice President

Mr. Asbury Shepard-El


2nd Vice President

Ms. Norva Butler


Recording Secretary

Christian Paylor-Smith



Mr. Justin Manning


Corresponding Secretary

Ms. Marsha Borenstein


Board Members

Ms. Evangeline Byars

Ms. Eddye Elijah

Ms. Linda Gaddy

Ms. Edena Gill

Ms. Dulce Grizzle

Ms. Lorrelle Henry *

Ms. Evy Papillon – Juste *

Mr. Maurice A. Reid

Ms. Teresa Snyder

Ms. Annie Stevenson –


Ms. Simone Waugh

Ms. Sylvia Whiteside




Hon. Major R. Owens *

1936 - 2013



* Past President

bottom of page