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.


    District-Wide Winners will be Announced!
    CONGRATS! All District-Wide Participants 
    U are all Winners and are advancing
    to the Finals Showcase the week
    of 4/19!!!
    LAST CALL - All District-Wide 
    Participants now advancing to FINALS
    for Ms. Awele and the video Editor. 
    Week of 4/19:
    Finals Showcase Virtual Reception TBA
    Week of 4/19:
    Finals Showcase Streaming Platform Launch 

  • Important Deadlines
    MLK Oratorical Fest District-Wide Competition Registration Deadline - New Extension: Feb. 19 @ 6 pm
    DEADLINES Extended!

    Elementary Schools (A-Z) 

    Virtual Competitions – by 2/19 @ 6PM


    Secondary Schools (6th – 12th)

    Virtual Competitions – by 2/19 @ 6PM


    District-Wide Competition:

    Virtual Asynchronous: February 


    District-Wide Competition

    Registration Deadlines:

    Elementary Schools: 2/19 (Registration Link)

    Secondary Schools: 2/19 (Registration Link)




    1)  All FlipGrid Videos for individuals

    and Zoom / CleanFeed.net group videos

    uploaded into school’s

    MLK Google Folder created by the school

    in categories and by grade levels: 

    • Speeches - PK-2, 3-5, 6-8 or 9-12
    • Pub. Poetry
    • Orig. Poetry
    • Monologues
    • Scenes

     *School WINNERS coming to District-Wide Competition Folder


    Link shared by school on District-Wide Registration Form


    Elementary Schools 

    A-Z: by 2/19

    Secondary Schools

    6th-12th: by 2/19


    2)  Registration Google

    Form completed for each

    participant: by 2/19 (elementary) or 2/19 (secondary)


    Showcase: March

    YouTube Channel

    Virtual Streaming

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