Ten fourth- and fifth-grade students from Chicago PSD elementary schools have been selected to advance to the final round of Foley & Lardner LLP’s 4th Annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition. The finals are scheduled to take place from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. on Friday, January 13, at the Foley Chicago office on 321 North Clark Street, Suite 300.
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 Chicago 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: “What would Dr. King say to us today about hope for tomorrow?”
Students advancing to the final round include:
- Nia Bey, 5th Grade, Arthur L. Dixon Elementary
- Mariah Hardin, 4th Grade, Arthur L. Dixon Elementary
- Issa Soumare, 4th Grade, Arthur L. Dixon Elementary
- Sandra Wu, Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center
- Nyasia Muhammad, 5th Grade, Mildred Lavizzo Elementary
- Malachi McKee, 4th Grade, Mildred Lavizzo Elementary
- Harper Williams, 5th grade, Robert A. Black Elementary
- Jarielle Mitchell, 5th grade, Robert A. Black Elementary
- Addison Sankey, 5th Grade, Warren Elementary
- Kylelle Campbell, 5th Grade, Warren Elementary
The competition kicked off in November with virtual qualifying rounds, which were judged by representatives from Foley. Fourteen students from five schools participated in the virtual semifinal round held the week of December 12, and 10 presenters were selected to advance to the final competition. 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, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
To engage with and stay up to date on this year’s competition, please use #FoleyMLK.
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