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MUSC Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest

About the Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest

The Septima P. Clark Poetry contest is coordinated by MUSC's Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity and the MUSC College of Health Professions in collaboration with Charleston’s First Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker. The poetry contest is open to youth in the community with categories for elementary school (K-5), middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12) age students. Prizes will be available for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in each category.

This annual contest honors acclaimed Charleston native, teacher, and "Mother of the Movement" Septima P. Clark (1898-1987) for her dedication to service, education, and equality. As a recipient of the 1979 Living Legacy Award from President and 2002 Nobel Prize Winner Jimmy Carter, she was known for developing literacy and citizenship workshops to promote civil rights and equality.  She was also recognized by the State of South Carolina in 1982 with South Carolina's highest civilian award known as the Order of the Palmetto.

Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest Coordination Committee:

  • Dr. Dante Pelzer (Co-Chair), MUSC Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity
  • Dr. Cristina Reyes Smith (Co-Chair), MUSC College of Health Professions Division of Occupational Therapy
  • Marcus Amaker, Charleston's First Poet Laureate
  • Kim Balaguer, MUSC Health Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Dr. Sonal Bhatia, MUSC Division of Pediatric Neurology
  • Dr. Martin D. Burke, MUSC Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
  • Ronnie Chatterjee, MUSC Office of Equity DEI Data Analytics & Process Improvement
  • Dr. Michelle Cohen, MUSC Center for Academic Excellence and Writing Center
  • Dr. Kristi Helke, MUSC College of Medicine, Comparative Medicine
  • Aislinn Hopkins, MUSC College of Health Professions Division of Physician Assistant Studies
  • Dr. Zipporah Krishnasami, MUSC College of Medicine, Nephrology
  • Dr. R. J. Lambert, MUSC Center for Academic Excellence and Writing Center
  • Dr. Whitney Marvin, MUSC College of Medicine, Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Critical Care
  • Tabitha Samuel, MUSC Libraries
  • Anna Schuldt, MUSC Libraries, Waring Historical Library
  • Tanjanika “Tan” Shivers, MUSC College of Medicine, Project ECHO

Past Septima P. Clark Poetry Contest Coordination Committee Members:

A partnership of the: