HISD students to perform speeches at annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition

Twelve HISD students will continue the tradition of honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when they compete Friday in the final round of the MLK Jr. Oratory Competition. 

For more than 20 years, fourth- and fifth-graders from two dozen HISD schools have competed in the annual contest, which challenges students to write and present a short original speech on a subject related to the slain civil rights leader. The topic this year is, “What would Dr. King’s vision be for America in 2020?”  

Watch livestream of competition at Houstonisd.org/LiveTVor follow along on Twitter at Twitter.com/HoustonISD 

Students are judged on delivery, stage presence and decorum, content interpretation, and memorization at all three levels (school, preliminaries, and finals) of the competition. The first-place prize is $1,000; the second-place prize is $500; and the third-place prize is $300. Other finalists will each receive a $100 award. 

The finals for the 24th annual event are scheduled for Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ (500 Clay St., 77002) from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

The 2019-2020 finalists are: 

  • Aniyah Williams — Burrus ES 
  • Kaydence Fletcher — Law ES 
  • Leo Serrano — Windsor Village ES 
  • Symphony Stoud — Lockhart ES 
  • Ananya Cherkuri — Askew ES 
  • David Ozuzu — Cornelius ES 
  • Hanah Hamilton — Pleasantville ES 
  • Gabrielle Marshall — Valley West ES 
  • Ayomide Lawrence — Blackshear ES 
  • Brandon Curbow — Crespo ES 
  • Jenny Teague — Sutton ES 
  • Sean Gair — Thompson ES 

Click here to check out last year’s winner, Lockhart Elementary School’s Nyla Johnson, and see the other finalists give their speeches.