Eighteen fourth- and fifth-grade students from Dallas ISD elementary schools have been selected to move on to the semifinals for Foley & Lardner LLP’s 30th Annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition. The semifinals are scheduled to take place on December 7 at 6 p.m. CDT at W.H. Adamson High School located at 309 E. 9th Street.
In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, Foley’s MLK Jr. Oratory Competition is designed to highlight the cultural diversity and talent of the Dallas community while recognizing and encouraging the writing and public speaking skills of elementary school students. Hosted and sponsored by Foley, the competition invites local students to present original three-to-five minute speeches addressing the topic: “How would Dr. King assess our progress in achieving his vision for America?”
Students advancing to the semifinal round include:
The competition kicked off in October, with nearly 100 students submitting videos for the virtual in-school qualifying rounds, which were judged by representatives from Foley. During the semifinal round on December 7, eight finalists will be selected to advance to the final competition to be held on January 14, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CDT at W.H. Adamson High School. Criteria for judging include delivery, stage presence and decorum, content interpretation and memorization. Finalists will receive a monetary award, participation plaque and other gifts.
Created in Dallas in 1993, the event’s success led to the establishment of the Houston competition in 1997 and the Chicago competition in 2020. Past winners and participants have delivered their speeches to numerous local and national organizations, including MLK Day appearances at the House of Blues. They have also appeared on local and national television programs, including CBS’ The Early Show, Fox 26 News, Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the Dallas Bar Association.
To engage with and stay up to date on this year’s competition, please use #FoleyMLK.
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