42nd Annual OUSD Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Festival

  • 2021 Theme:

    Where Do We Go From Here?: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

  • About Us


    Let's take a moment to lift up important history.  Forty-one years 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 the 42nd Annual OUSD Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Festival in which schools at all grade levels across Oakland have an opportunity to bring Donald Olivers 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.


    UPDATES – 6/10


    Virtual Showcase Streaming

    Coming Soon

    Check back for link

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    All District-Wide Participants 

    are WINNERS!

    featured in Finals Showcase!


    Ribbons & Medals Delivered

    to Schools 5/24 - 27

  • Important Deadlines

    Virtual Showcase: Streaming May 2021

    YouTube Channel


    Medals delivered in May 2021


Important Links & Document Downloads

  • Contact Information


    Awele Makeba

    Awele (ah WAY lay) Makeba tony.douangviseth@ousd.org

    Producer, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Fest

    Cell | 510-601-0178 cell

    Skyline | 510-482-7109, Ext. 204