Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Young People’s Oratorical Contest
The BSL Educational Foundation, Inc, in partnership with the Beta Sigma Lambda Chapter (Greater Hartford) of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., presents the 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest to take place at Capital Community College located at 950 Main Street in Hartford on Saturday, February 29,2020 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
The BSL Educational Foundation will conduct additional tryouts on January 18, 2020 with the Public Speaking Workshop for participants. The tryouts will be held at Capital Community College and are scheduled from 10AM – 12PM.
Student participants from every Hartford County area school participate by creating an original speech based on the theme.
This year’s contest theme; ‘Election 2020, You are a candidate for President, provide your platform addressing the significant issues impacting Society. What changes will you make to move our Nation forward?’
Candidates for President have an amazing task at hand as President Donald Trump has had quite the impact on our Nation. His supporters claim a historic economic boom as a result of deregulation, small business spending and a reduction of poverty for Americans across the country. The critics of President Trump, direct attention towards the continuous scandals, misuse of power, and the state of foreign affairs as reasons for a change in the Oval office. With all things considered, participants of this competition have the task of developing a platform designed to appeal to American people everywhere. Be creative and have fun as you focus on creating your platform as a candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. started ‘A Voteless People is a Hopeless People’ National Program in the 1930s. The program was designed to help African Americans who were prevented from voting because of literacy tests, poll taxes and of course, intimidation and threats of retaliation. Through this program, Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc. works to ensure communities across the country are actively engaged in local politics through participation, awareness and attendance. We are steadfast in our commitment to promote voter registration along with efforts to get voters to the ballot box.
This year’s Oratorical Contest highlights the 2020 Presidential Campaign in a time when politics are anything but typical. Our diverse groups of Presidential candidates have different thoughts and ideas on how to approach and solve the most significant issues we face as a Nation. Candidates are on a grand stage and our entire country is looking for answers. Can we work together? Can we collaborate? Can we create win-win solutions that will appeal to voters? The world is watching. Can you, as a participant, take the office of President?
The Contest Guidelines
We invite participants from every Hartford County area school to participate by creating an original speech based on the theme. From the main collection of participants, eight will be selected to recite their speeches to a public audience for the competition. Before the competition, the eight finalists will complete a rigorous schedule of preliminary speech review and public speaking workshops. The participants will also be provided one-on-one coaching by an assigned mentor from the BSL Educational Foundation, who will help the participants strengthen their speeches and hone their speaking skills. All speeches must have original content and be no more than 1000 words in length.
Students may register by completing the enclosed registration form, which also includes a copy of the rules, requirements and judging criteria. A copy of the competition packet is also available on our website: www.bsleducation.org.
During the program, we will provide information on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in honor of Dr. King, an Alpha man who was initiated at Boston University in Boston, MA. The BSL Educational Foundation will lead the initiative to present a donation to The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Fund. The Foundation seeks corporate sponsorship, civic contributions and personal donations from friends, family and the public to generate a meaningful gift to the fund.
The BSL Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that receives grants from local corporations, civic groups and faith-based institutions, as well as through individual sponsorship by fraternity brothers. Contributions are 100% tax-deductible. More information about the chapter and its programs can be found on our website: www.bsleducation.org.
PLEASE SHARE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT WITH STUDENTS WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM PARTICIPATING IN OUR ORATORICAL CONTEST AS WELL AS OTHERS WHO WANT TO SUPPORT THE ENDEAVOR.
Thank you for your support. Anyone seeking additional information regarding the Oratorical Contest should contact one of the following committee members:
Leon D. Peters
Contest Eligibility, Rules and Requirements:
Students attending an accredited school within the Greater Hartford County or those being home schooled are eligible. There will be two groups: Middle School and High School. Each group will have four (4) finalist
Previous MLK Oratorical Contest Finalists:
1st and 2nd Place Winners in previous MLK Oratorical Contests are not eligible to compete in the same group. For example, a 1st or 2nd Place Winner in Middle School can only complete in the High School group.
Prospective participants must complete the registration form by January 04, 2020. A parent, an organization or a school sponsor (teacher or guidance counselor) must sign the registration form.
Registrants must write an original essay or speech of 1000 words maximum, typed and double-spaced. The work must be available and presented at the January 04, 2020, MLK Oratorical Contest Tryouts. A selection of eight finalists will be made after all speeches are presented to the Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Beta Sigma Lambda Chapter. Tryouts will take place at Capital Community College 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103, at 10:00 A.M.
Finalists will be required to attend a public speaking workshop presented by the BSL Educational Foundation. The workshop, designed to prepare participants for the oratorical contest, will be held Capital Community College 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103, at 10:00 A.M. on January 18, 2020.
Each finalist will be assigned a mentor from the BSL Educational Foundation who will provide guidance and support leading up to the contest. The participant and mentor will determine individual practice sessions.
On February 29, 2020, participants will be expected to arrive at Capital Community College 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 at 8:30 A.M. A copy of the essay or speech, typed and double-spaced, must be presented to the Chief Judge before the start of the program. A parent or guardian must accompany each participant. Each finalist is expected to extend invitations to family members, classmates, teachers and friends to attend the final competition.
There will be separate awards for the Middle School and High School Finalists, who will compete within their groups. Each group will have the following scholarship prize opportunities:
High School Middle School
1st Place – $750 Book Scholarship 1st Place – $500 Book Scholarship
2nd Place – $500 Book Scholarship 2nd Place – $300 Book Scholarship
3rd Place – $250 Book Scholarship 3rd Place – $200 Book Scholarship
Intellectual Quality of Content – The issue is addressed with creative solutions, insights and a fresh perspective.
Logic Flow – The arguments made in the opening are supported with related facts, ideas, examples and research throughout the body of the speech, and the conclusions drawn are based upon these supported arguments.
Vocalization – Speaking volume varies to enhance emotional quality. Full pitch and variations in speaking rate adds to the impact of the speech.
Non-Verbal Communication – Eye Contact with varying sections of audience. Posture, facial expressions, & hand movement are aligned with content and add value to presentation.
Grammar & Diction – Structure of sentences and choice of vocabulary allows for issues to be identified precisely and arguments to be explained concisely.
Audience Engagement & Response – Delivery of speech peeks audience attention and interests. Reaction of audience following the completion of the speech.
Total Score and Overview Commitment
Thank you for your support. Anyone seeking additional information regarding the Oratorical Contest should contact:
Elbert Gray | Chairman of the 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Contest
BSL Educational Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 891 | Hartford, CT 06143-0891
www.bsleducation.org | Stay up to Date – Via our Facebook Link!
“The BSL Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that receives grants from local corporations, civic groups, faith based organizations, and individual contributors. Contributions are 100% tax deductible.”