Please choose from one of the following three themes. Resource links are provided below each theme for further information.
1. Hopes and Dreams for Black Students: Investing in Repairing Historical Harm
2. "We have inherited a large house, a great 'world house' in which we have to live together [...] because we can never again live apart, [we] must learn somehow to live with each other in peace."
3. The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by human beings for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison people because they are different from others.
About the MLK Oratorical
More than four decades ago, the Founder of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Oratorical Fest, Donald Oliver had a vision. He wanted to showcase student’s oratorical skills and he wanted to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He felt that the testing/reading score data did not truly lift up students’ comprehension and fluency skills and abilities but he knew that delivering an oration was an academic exercise that required students to read and comprehend complex text in order to analyze, synthesize, interpret, critique, and present or perform that text (creating a new form through performance) in a competition in public speaking.
This brings us to 2022 and the 43rd Annual OUSD Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Festival in which schools at all grade levels across Oakland have an opportunity to bring Donald Oliver's vision to their students. Below you find information about grade level divisions and the oratorical festival catagories.
Grade Level Divisions:
- Pre-Kindergarten-2nd grade
- 3rd-5th grade
- 6th-8th grade
- 9th-12th grade
- Individual Performer – 1 Performer on Stage
- Monologue - original or published in a script (3 min)
- Poetry - published poetry (3 min)
- Poetry - original poetry (poet performing poem they wrote, 3 min)
- Speech - famous & not so famous – (3 min)
- Two or More Performers on Stage Groups/Scenes
- Poetry – published (up to 5 min)
- Poetry - original (written by the performing poets, (up to 5 min)
- Speech - famous & not so famous (up to 5 min)
- Scene - published & devised (up to 5 min)
Please see Divisions and Categories Information Details for number of entries allowed per school.
* The timeline has been updated as of May 12*MARCH3/1 - 3/9
School Site Oratoricals, Live or Virtual3/8 – 3/11
District-Wide Online Registration (CLICK HERE)3/11
District-Wide Online Registration Hard Deadline – all video links & forms must be submittedAPRIL4/25-29
Free ScreeningsHBO film Frederick Douglass: In 5 Speechesour country’s most famous anti-slavery activistProgram Guide & Registration: https://sffilm.org/2022-satf-
program/SF Film Fest: for questions, email Keith Zwolfer at email@example.com
2022 MLK Oratorical Finals Showcase streaming now!5/23
District-Wide Winners Shout Out5/20-5/23
Ribbons and Medals Delivered to Schools