Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Eighteen Dallas elementary students advance to Foley’s 30th annual MLK Jr. Oratory Competition semifinals

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?”

 

(Suzy Brooks / Unsplash)

Students advancing to the semifinal round include:

• Andres Reyes, 5th Grade, Arturo Salazar Elementary
• Chance Taylor, 5th Grade, Charles Rice Elementary
• Diamond McKinney, 5th Grade, Clara Oliver Elementary
• Timothy Jones, 5th Grade, Elisha M. Pease Elementary
• ZoeAnna Collier, 5th Grade, Federick Douglass Elementary
• Alexandria Carbajal, 5th Grade, Jack Lowe Elementary
• Jaliaha Rodgers, 5th Grade, JP Starks Math, Science, and Technology Vanguard
• Jermain Johnson, 5th Grade, KB Polk Elementary
• Arianna Garcia, 5th Grade, LL Hotchkiss Elementary School
• Jackson Smith, 4th Grade, Martin Luther King, Jr. Arts Academy
• Tristan Whitfield, 5th Grade, Paul L. Dunbar Elementary
• Kenise Davis, 4th Grade, Ronald McNair Elementary
• Pavit Singh, 5th Grade, Solor Prep for Boys
• Zihair Douglas, 4th Grade, T.L. Marsalis Elementary
• Daniella Goffney-Mitchell, 4th Grade, Thomas Tolbert Elementary
• Aubrey Sanchez, 5th Grade, Walnut Hill Elementary
• Sophia Padron, 5th Grade, William Brown Miller Elementary
• Octavia Davis, 4th Grade, Wilmer-Hutchins Elementary

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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