41st Annual OUSD Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Festival

  • "Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love," Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Peace Prize 1964 Acceptance Speech.

MLK, Jr. Oratorical Flyer
  • 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 41st 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.

Important 2020 Dates

  • School-wide Competitions:


    Elementary Schools

    • January 28, 2020 (A-I)
    • February 4, 2020 (J-Z)

    Secondary Schools

    • February 11, 2020


    February 23, 2020

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