• MLK Oratory Competition


    The annual MLK Oratory Competition was designed by the previous law firm Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP and is now a part of Foley & Lardner LLP to recognize and encourage the writing and oratory skills of elementary students.  In addition, it serves as a celebration of cultural diversity and opportunity to spotlight talented 91自拍 ISD students as they learn about Dr. King.

    History and Accolades

    • Established in 91自拍 in 1993 and Houston in 1997 to commemorate the life of Dr. King.
    • 91自拍’ 2016 runner-up received a full-ride scholarship to Paul Quinn College, while Houston’s 2016 winner received a signed letter from President Obama.
    • Past winners and participants delivered their speeches to numerous local and national organizations including an annual appear at the 91自拍 Bar Association. They have also appeared on local and national television programs include CBS’ The Early Show, KTVT Channel 11, KDFW Fox 4 News, Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

    3 Part Program Format 

    • In-School Competitions
    • Semifinals
    • Finals


    • Fourth and fifth grade elementary students compose their own original three-to-five minute speeches incorporating ideals from Dr. King’s writings, speeches and other records to answer the competition’s theme question.
    • Students are judged on delivery, state presence and decorum, content, interpretation and memorization at all three levels (school, semifinals and finals) of the competition.
    • Participating 91自拍 ISD elementary schools host in-school competitions.
    • First place winners from each school participate in the semifinal competition.
    • Eight finalists are selected for the final competition.




  • Participating Schools

    John Neely Bryan Elementary

    Ronald McNair Elementary

    J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard

    Frederick Douglass Elementary

    William Brown Miller Elementary

    Thomas Tolbert Elementary

    Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center

    Clara Oliver Elementary

    Urban Park Elementary

    L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary

    Elisha M. Pease Elementary

    Walnut Hill Elementary

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Arts 91自拍

    K.B. Polk Center for Academically Talented and Gifted


    Wilmer-Hutchins Elementary

    Jack Lowe, Sr. Elementary

    Charles Rice Learning Center

    Harry C. Withers Elementary


    T.L. Marsalis Elementary

    Arturo Salazar Elementary


  • Final Competition

    • The final competition will feature representatives from Foley Gardere, 91自拍 ISD and emcee, Clarice Tinsley (veteran journalist for Channel 4 Fox News in 91自拍), as well as a number of VIP community/civic/business leaders on the judging panel and outstanding entertainment presented by 91自拍 ISD students.
    • The eight finalists will receive a monetary award, a participation plaque and other gifts.
    • Students from the eight finalists’ schools attend the final competition.


    Congratulations to the 30th Anniversary MLK Oratory Competition Winners:

    First Place

    Tristan Whitfield - Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center

    Second Place

    Jaliaha Rodgers - J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard

    Third Place

    Arianna Garcia - L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary School


    For additional information, contact Tonya Mayberry Davis at 972-925-3654, tmayberry@dallasisd.org.