38th Annual OUSD Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Festival - A Call to Action

MLK, Jr. photo
  • About Us


    Let's take a moment to lift up important history.  Thirty-eight 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 38th 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:

    • Prekindergarten-2nd grade
    • 3rd-5th grade
    • 6th-8th grade
    • 9th-12th grade



    • Individual Performer – 1 Performer on Stage
      • 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  Chorals/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)
      • Drama - Published & Devised (up to 5 min)

Important Links & Document Downloads

  • Contact Information


    Awele Makeba

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

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

    Cell | 510-601-0178 cell

    Skyline | 510-482-7109, Ext. 204