Eight Dallas ISD Students Advance to Foley’s 31st Annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition Finals

21 December 2022 Media Contact: Jen Dilworth News

Eight fourth- and fifth-grade students from Dallas ISD elementary schools have been selected to advance to the finals for Foley & Lardner LLP’s 31st Annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition. The finals are scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023 at W.H. Adamson High School.

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: What would Dr. King say to us today about hope for tomorrow?”

Students advancing to the final round include:

  • Adrian Rojas, 5th Grade, Arturo Salazar Elementary
  • Kennedy Smith, 4th Grade, Charles Rice Learning Center
  • Zaleeia Brown, 5th Grade, Clara Oliver Elementary
  • Mohamad Mohamad, 5th Grade, Elisha M. Pease Elementary
  • Bria Hider, 5th Grade, J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard
  • Zihair Douglas, 5th Grade, T.L. Marsalis Elementary STEAM Academy
  • Daniella Mitchell, 5th Grade, Thomas Tolbert Elementary
  • Ella Atkins, 5th Grade, Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy

The competition kicked off in November with virtual qualifying rounds, which were judged by representatives from Foley. During the in-person semifinal round on Dec. 6, eight finalists 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.

About Foley & Lardner LLP

Foley & Lardner LLP is a preeminent law firm that stands at the nexus of the energy, health care and life sciences, innovative technology, and manufacturing sectors. We look beyond the law to focus on the constantly evolving demands facing our clients and act as trusted business advisors to deliver creative, practical, and effective solutions. Our 1,100 lawyers across 25 offices worldwide partner on the full range of engagements from corporate counsel to IP work and litigation support, providing our clients with a one-team solution to all their needs. For nearly two centuries, Foley has maintained its commitment to the highest level of innovative legal services and to the stewardship of our people, firm, clients, and the communities we serve.